Contact: Jeffrey N. Maclin
(212) 614-5538 (office)
(718) 309-2346 (cell)
It took us more than three long years, but today the city is one step closer to ensuring that hundreds of thousands of working New Yorkers, particularly low-wage workers, will now be entitled to paid sick days and that no worker will be fired for being out sick a few days. A deal struck last night to allow a City Council vote on this long overdue legislation is a victory for advocacy groups who have made this a key issue in the upcoming mayoral contest.
The Community Service Society is proud of the role our research and advocacy played in highlighting the evidence for and against a paid sick days law. Our work showed that the benefits of this legislation substantially outweighed the costs. Fewer workers going to work sick will make New York City a healthier place, and low-income wage workers receiving job protection and wages they deserve will help those struggling to get by, keep their heads above water, and boost our local economy. Moreover, the oft-stated criticism that paid sick days would somehow kill jobs or hurt businesses was not supported by economic evidence or empirical data from cities with laws on the books.
Now the measure will go before the City Council where a majority of members already favors the legislation. Although the bill is not perfect, it is an important first step in providing a basic protection to workers. Along with other groups who have pushed this issue, CSS will continue to fight to ensure that no worker in New York City is denied access to paid sick days.