“The New York City Council’s vote today to strengthen the city’s already historic paid sick days law is a testament to lawmakers’ strong commitment to workers, families, public health and businesses in the city, as well as the growing national momentum for paid sick days laws. By championing this bill, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have shown that paid sick days are both good policy and good politics.
The bill, which we expect the mayor to sign soon, expands the paid sick days law the Council passed in June of 2013 to require employers with five or more employees – instead of those with 15 or more employees – to provide paid sick time. It also expands the definition of “family member” under the law to include time to care for siblings, grandchildren and grandparents.
When the mayor signs this bill, beginning in April, approximately 1.3 million workers in New York City who did not have paid sick time before will have the right to earn the paid sick days they need to keep themselves and their families healthy and economically secure. And all other workers who had no legal right to sick time before will be able to earn unpaid days. A growing body of evidence shows that paid sick days are good for working families, businesses, local economies and the public’s health. And there is undeniable momentum around the policy at the local, state and federal levels.
We commend Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and all of the Council members who supported this proposal. Lawmakers at all levels should take note of New York City’s strong paid sick days law and recognize that all workers deserve the basic right to earn time to care for their health and that of their families. At the federal level, it is long past time for Congress to prioritize and pass the Healthy Families Act.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.