NYC to require paid sick leave for workers

“Get sick, get paid” may not be quite as prophetic as Mr. Chi City’s “get money, get paid” mantra, but the statement may soon hold true for workers in New York City.

The New York City council and activists have reached a deal that would require businesses with 15 or more employees to receive paid sick leave, council speaker Christine Quinn announced.

The plan would allow workers to take five days off and still receive full pay for the day. It is expected to affect nearly a million workers who currently do not have these benefits.

“This is a great day for New York’s working families,” said Working Familes Party deputy director Bill Lipton. “A million New Yorkers will no longer face a choice between taking care of a sick child and a day’s pay. And it’s now illegal for any worker to be fired for missing a few days work because of illness.”

“Throughout these negotiations I have always said that I was willing to listen and engage all sides,” said Quinn in a statement. “Because of deliberate, thoughtful, and at times hard-nosed negotiations, we now have a piece of legislation that balances the interests of workers, small business owners, and local mom-and-pop proprietors across this City.”

Earlier this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed her support for a federal paid sick leave law.

“It’s not just about women, it’s about families,” she said Monday while in Boston. “Many men take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act.”

The city council will have to vote to pass the measure, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg described as “short-sighted economic policy that will take our city in the wrong direction.” He has vowed to veto it.

The council looks to have enough votes to override the veto.

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