paid sick leave Tag All blog entries tagged as paid sick leave http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:24:10 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb NYC Council OKs #PaidSickDays Compromise http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/09/council-oks-paid-sick-days-compromise http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/09/council-oks-paid-sick-days-compromise NEW YORK — After almost four years of negotiations and months of political bickering, about one million working New Yorkers are a step closer to gaining paid sick days.

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The City Council approved a bill today that will require many businesses to give sick workers time off. It passed 45 to 3.

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The bill is much transformed from the one originally introduced in 2010 and kept from a vote by Speaker Christine Quinn until a near insurrection from her colleagues and criticism from advocates threatened to become a political liability as she seeks the Democratic nomination for mayor.

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Under the bill approved by the Council, eligible workers would be guaranteed a minimum of five paid sick days. The bill also says that no one in New York can be fired for taking an unpaid sick day. Whereas the original bill would have forced businesses with five or more employees to provide paid sick days, the version passed today applies to those with 20 or more employees.

The law would go into effect in April of next year, with the possibility of expanding to businesses with 15 or more employees in late 2015, depending on the law's success. Full-time and part-time workers would be protected under the law, although it excludes interns and seasonal workers.

"Today’s vote projects a positive message to all New Yorkers that this government of the people is not only about those who have everything, but that each of us has a right to benefits created by the labor of all," said Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the bill's lead sponsor, before today's vote.

For years, labor advocates and the local business community wrestled over the bill's impact on the city's public health and economic development. Quinn justified keeping the bill from a vote by repeating her belief that the city's economy was too fragile to mandate sick leave.

In responding to criticism about that decision, Quinn said that she had always supported the spirit of the bill. It has been more a matter of when it was appropriate for the city to enact the law, she added, not if she supported it.

At a press event today, Quinn said: "Clearly the economy is doing better now, than two or three years ago when I first said we should wait."

In March, she announced a deal to end political dilemma surrounding the bill after a drumbeat of criticism from advocates including Gloria Steinem and labor unions, her Council colleagues and rival candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor. However, some were still unhappy with the outcome, with some business leaders not wanting to see any bill at all and a group of advocates for sick leave saying the Quinn deal would result in a weakened law.

Key Quinn ally Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his continued opposition to the bill when the deal was struck in March.

"While this compromise version of the bill is better than previous iterations, it will still hurt small businesses and stifle job creation," Bloomberg wrote, calling the bill short-sighted policy that will hurt New York. "Supporters claim it will only take effect if the economy is healthy, but there is never a good time to make New York City less competitive."

Bloomberg has said he will veto even this compromise bill, though supporters say they have enough votes to override.

Among the many compromises that was negotiated into the bill is a trigger which Quinn has said will grant paid sick days only if the city's economy can handle the bill's impact.

That trigger will come from an economic index measured by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that looks at a combination of wages, time sheets and the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate is particularly relevant to Nancy Ploeger, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. On the same day the Brooklyn and Queens Chambers of Commerce presidents stood with Quinn at the March rally, Ploeger said that everything came down to jobs, and whether or not the bill would be another burden on the city’s small businesses.

Ploeger hesitated to praise the compromise, arguing that the state has always been better equipped to deal with paid sick day legislation than the local government.

"We are against any type of City Council legislation," Ploeger said at the time.

Ploeger also called into question whether it was appropriate to have the law enforced by the city's Department for Consumer Affairs. While the state has its Department of Labor, she said, the city doesn't have a similar agency equipped to make sure employers comply with the law.

The DCA also said it was ill-prepared to handle the law's requirements.

"Among the many concerns about this legislation, the Council seems to not understand that the Department of Consumer Affairs regulates fairness in the marketplace, not labor and payroll issues," the agency said.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Thu, 09 May 2013 01:35:37 +0000
Paid Sick Leave Vote Delayed, Again http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/24/paid-sick-leave-vote-delayed-again http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/24/paid-sick-leave-vote-delayed-again The City Council has once again delayed a vote on paid sick leave despite an earlier goal of a vote tomorrow.

After working to move the controversial bill to the Council floor for three years, Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer said yesterday that she hopes the bill will come to a vote in early May after negotiating the final language.

She added that only small, auxiliary verbs like "may" or "must."

"I think we'll be fine," Brewer said. "I still feel ecstatic."

Whatever language is eventually adopted into the bill is a result of weeks of negotiation between City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, labor advocates and the city's business leaders.

Changes to the original bill were made to satisfy critics who worried about a negative impact on the city's small businesses. Leaders from the groups, including the Partnership for a Better New York and the five borough's Chambers of Commerce, thanked Quinn after the new bill included a trigger that would prevent the bill from becoming law next year if the city's economy falters.

The bill now also exempts business with less than 20 employees from the law in the first year after being enacted, whereas labor advocates asked that it apply to businesses with five or more. The bill will also make it illegal for any business to fire employees for taking unpaid sick days.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:48:30 +0000
Paid Sick Leave Bill Likely To See Vote Next Week http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/16/paid-sick-leave-bill-likely-to-see-vote-next-week http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/16/paid-sick-leave-bill-likely-to-see-vote-next-week

After three years of waiting and debating, Councilwoman Gale Brewer said the controversial paid sick days bill could go to a vote as early as next week.

"April 25 -- that's the goal," Brewer said this afternoon. She said the language was still being finalized, but was confident it would go to a vote sooner rather than later.

The bill, Intro 0097, would be introduced through the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, which will convene the day before the bill heads to the Council's floor. It already has several cosponsors, including Speaker Christine Quinn, who held back a vote on the measure since Brewer first introduced the bill in 2010.

Quinn came under pressure in recent months as supporters of paid sick leave -- including unions and fellow mayoral candidates, most notably Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson -- demanded that the bill go to a vote. Quinn had long held that she didn't oppose the spirit of the bill, rather that the city's economy was too fragile to expect small business to offer paid sick leave to their employees.

However, despite initial opposition from chambers of commerce from all five boroughs and various business leaders, Quinn was able to draw up a compromise version of the bill that would not got into effect until next year, and only if it meets a minimum measure of a financial index released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The bill will reportedly provide five sick days to all business with 20 or more employees, eventually expanding it to those with 15 or more.

Under the new law, all employees -- regardless of the business' size -- are also protected from being fired and can file violations with the city's Department of Consumer Affairs. Employers who are exempt from paid sick days must still offer workers at least five unpaid sick days a year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already promised to veto the bill, which Quinn similarly promised to override.

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Photo by William Alatriste.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Tue, 16 Apr 2013 21:12:50 +0000
Weekend Roundup: Paid Sick Leave http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/01/weekend-roundup-paid-sick-leave http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/01/weekend-roundup-paid-sick-leave

Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a Democratic candidate for mayor, hammered out a deal to move forward legislation that would require many businesses to give paid sick leave to their employees. She made the announcement Friday with supporters and leaders of local chambers of commerce. Quinn had refused to bring the bill to a floor vote for two years. But as the campaign to get the bill passed dovetailed with the mayoral race and a possible revolt from fellow Council members, she met with elected officials, union leaders and supporters of the bill to negotiate a deal.

The result was a seemingly more business-friendly bill that includes a provision that would delay the implementation of the bill if the economy worsens by the time it goes into effect in April 2014. Though acknowledging the effort to address concerns with the bill, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would veto it anyway. Quinn has said she has the votes to override him.

The New York Times' Editorial Board called the deal "good news, although it will take at least a year for most employees to enjoy a basic benefit widely available elsewhere." The New York Post wrote: "The best way to improve life for city workers is not by imposing politically motivated diktats on employers. It’s by giving business the freedom it needs to create a dynamic, expanding economy."

Last night, Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the prime sponsor of the sick leave bill, sent out an email thanking the speaker. She also disclosed the following "outline" of the bill:

• Businesses with 20 or more workers will have to provide five paid sick days beginning April 1, 2014.

• Businesses with 15 or more workers will have to do the same beginning Oct. 1, 2015.

• Workers would have to be on the job for at least four months to take advantage of sick leave.

• The Department of Consumer Affairs is the lead enforcement agency.


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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 01 Apr 2013 06:43:33 +0000
VIDEO: Dem Mayoral Candidates Talk NYPD, Paid Sick Leave On MSNBC #nyc2013 http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/25/video-dem-mayoral-candidates-talk-nypd-paid-sick-leave-on-msnbc-nyc2013 http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/25/video-dem-mayoral-candidates-talk-nypd-paid-sick-leave-on-msnbc-nyc2013

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg took Sunday morning airtime to discuss his new $12 million gun control ad campaign, four Democratic mayoral candidates touched upon a range of issues, including the New York Police Department and paid sick leave.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former Councilman Sal Alabanese, and current and former Comptrollers John Liu and Bill Thompson, respectively, all appeared on MSNBC’s "Up with Chris Hayes."

The four candidates took up five segments of the Sunday morning cable talkshow, with each candidate doing their best to distinguish themselves from the others as they reiterate their opposition to the New York Police Department’s policy of stopping, questionioning and frisking people on the street. Liu was the only firm opponent to the policy, with his fellow candidates adopting nuanced, critical stances on the subject.

"This is not America," Liu said, pointing to stop-and-frisk as institutionalized racial profiling. "This is not democratic."

De Blasio, Thompson and Albanese repeated their support for a reformed stop-and-frisk program with a greater emphasis on constitutional limits and community engagement. De Blasio went a step further, however, and blamed the lack of police oversight for the current state of affairs.

"There has been an absolute deference to the police commissioner of New York City in a way that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the country," he said. Three of the panelists agreed on one thing: Ray Kelly wouldn’t continue to serve as the city’s police commissioner if they were elected. De Blasio, Liu and Thompson all said they’d find a new NYPD chief, while Albanese said he wouldn't make a decision until after being elected.

Hayes then brought up the proposed inspector general idea as a possible oversight, which Albanese called an outright shell game. The former Bay Ridge councilman argued that the City Council already has the power to call NYPD policies into question, repeating the mayor’s argument that an inspector general would be redundant to existing checks on police.

"This is political theater," he said. "That’s what this is, because they’re punting the ball to an unelected official."

De Blasio struck back, arguing that most of the existing checks against police misconduct have been hampered by the current and former mayoral administrations.

"There has been an absolute deference to the police commissioner of New York City in a way that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the country," de Blasio said.

While the four candidates couldn’t agree on stop-and-frisk or the inspector general, they all said they support the Council's stalled paid sick leave bill. Thompson brought up his letter to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose spokesman said she was unable to attend Sunday’s TV panel. Quinn has prevented bills on paid sick leave from going to a vote since 2010, often saying she supports the intent of the bill, but that the city’s economy was too delicate for it go to a vote at this time.

"If you’re concerned about the economy, where things are at now, put a year delay in," Thompson said. "But let’s move the bill. And what we’re seeing is one person, one individual blocking the wishes ... of the people of the city of New York."

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:01:56 +0000
Quinn: 'Unfortunate' Someone Would Fake Her Website http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/13/quinn-unfortunate-someone-would-fake-her-website http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/13/quinn-unfortunate-someone-would-fake-her-website

City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn hasn't changed her mind about paid sick leave.

An unidentified party faked Quinn's mayoral campaign website and posted a message claiming she now supports a vote on legislation that would mandate paid sick days for employers.

But Quinn said on Wednesday that she hadn't changed her position on paid sick leave — and lamented the fake website.

"I think it's unfortunate that someone would create a website that's a replica of my campaign website when it's not," she said.

Quinn has long held that she supports the spirit of the bill, currently being pushed again by Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer, but won't let it go to a vote. The Council speaker has consistently argued that the city's economy is currently too delicate for struggling business to comply with the proposal.

The fake website -- quinn4ny.org -- was an almost perfect copy Quinn's official homepage at quinn4ny.com, except for the same e-mail message being repeated on the impostor website.

"As mayor of New York, I pledge to represent all New Yorkers, not just the wealthiest one percent or those with back-channel access to politicians like me," said the message about paid sick leave, which was also emailed. "It's time for an up-or-down vote on paid sick days."

fake Quinn site

As of early afternoon on Wednesday, the quinn4ny.org seems to be down, with the page not being able "to be displayed." It's uncertain if the campaign intervened to shut the site down.

The spoof website and campaign emails comes on the heels of renewed pressure on Quinn to bring the bill to a vote. Capital New York reported on the national advocacy group Color of Change and its email, also sent out on Wednesday, criticizing Quinn's delay of a vote on the bill.

Quinn has scheduled a hearing on paid sick leave in the civil service and labor committee for March 22.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:25:27 +0000
Sanders: Quinn Should Bring Paid Sick Leave to Vote http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/08/31/sanders-quinn-should-bring-paid-sick-leave-to-vote http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/08/31/sanders-quinn-should-bring-paid-sick-leave-to-vote New York City Councilman James Sanders Jr. is imploring Speaker Christine Quinn to bring a stalled paid sick leave bill to a vote. "There is nothing harder to stop than an idea whose time has come," the councilman said in a recent interview with the Gotham Gazette.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Fri, 31 Aug 2012 00:44:00 +0000