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New York Times: America Needs a National Paid Sick Days Standard

August 6, 2012 | Campaigns > Paid Sick Days

Paid sick days campaigns gained steam this weekend when, in a powerful Sunday editorial, the New York Times announced its support for both a federal paid sick days standard and New York City’s paid sick time proposal. “Working While Sick” calls out Congress for failing to act on the issue and, more specifically, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for holding up a citywide paid sick days law that has ample support among council members and would bring real progress for more than a million workers.

More than 40 million American workers get no paid sick leave,” the editorial begins. “They have to work when ill or take unpaid sick days, which can lead to financial hardship, or, worse, dismissal. The best way to address this workplace and public health problem is with a national law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave — a normal benefit for workers in at least 145 countries.

But since there is little hope for such progress anytime soon in Washington, New York City Council members are taking up the cause. At least 36 of 50 council members support a proposed city law that would require sick leave for more than 1.2 million workers. Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, has refused to bring a bill to the floor, however.”

The piece goes on to talk about the specifics of the New York City proposal and the benefits of paid sick days laws already in place in San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Connecticut. It calls on Speaker Quinn and leaders to find a way to pass the bill, which benefits businesses, the public health and working families. Its conclusion says it all:

American workers should have paid sick leave, and New York City could set a standard for the rest of the nation. Workers in the city deserve a sensible and humane sick-leave benefit now.”

We hope that this compelling argument from the New York Times, combined with the recently announced support of women’s leaders and the unwavering dedication and work of the Time to Care campaign, will inspire real progress in New York City.


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