Sunday, December 21, 2014

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The Call Blog: City Council Passes Expanded Paid Sick Time Act

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Five or more employees, you must give five paid sick days a year. Five Council members said no to that idea. But the rest said yes. I wonder how many business owners who have six, seven, or eight employees are going to be firing people this April?

It's being hailed as the first major piece of legislation passed by the new City Council, and it expands paid sick leave to 355,000 more New Yorkers. By a vote of 46-5, lawmakers approved the measure that will require all businesses with five or more employees to provide five paid sick days a year.

In addition, the law expands the definition of "family member" so workers can use earned sick time to care for a sibling, grandchild or grandparent. The bill will be the first Mayor de Blasio signs into law. It would go into effect this April. Opponents are concerned the legislation creates a financial burden on the small business owner. What do you say?

Are you celebrating or criticizing the City Council's vote to expand paid sick leave? Would you have voted yes or no on this bill? Should the government be setting staffing guidelines for small business owners? If you don't earn paid sick leave, what happens when you or a loved one falls ill?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

So we now know that we have a left-wing government here in New York City -- well, let the reap what they sow. I wonder what they'll say when some employers simply start laying off workers to stay under the five-employee limit, and others close their doors rather than try to compete in this environment. Probably not much, as these lefties usually just waltz along from disaster to disaster. We've seen the City Council simply change the subject when members were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and so they'll probably just ignore the matter when it comes to doing something stupid.

Upper West Side


I'm opposed to this act of pure fascism.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John,

I believe that this council is run like the previous one we had and that is none other than a dictatorship. It certainly will create a financial burden on small business owners because they will have to cut their staff and or also close the doors. It seems as though this administration is just dictating how business is run and how much the salaries should be. So as they keep giving out these free bees it amounts to one thing only and that is always at someone else’s expense in that the business owners end up as losers. That’s for sure. The feeling is the demands of these politicians are acting as though they have great concerns for the welfare of the workers and their families and in my estimation it is all false because the method to their madness is to get and keep votes at any cost. They have no sympathy for anyone at all.

Thank you John,

Its sad..... people will definitely take advantage and use that day as a vacation day or a day of entitlement.


Apart from the humanitarian aspect of this, I do NOT want a sick person preparing or serving my food; handling my purchases in a store (especially a grocery store). When is the USA going to move into the 21st Century as far as basic, decent human rights go?

East Village

I don't understand the problem... 5 sick days for a full time employee should be standard . People get sick. If an employer can't afford it then shut down.

Sal from Staten Island

Republican Council Members Ignizo's position on sick leaves is the reason there are only 3 Republican Council members in the Council. To give someone who is sick with a catchable disease a paid sick day will not destroy any business. Small business hires someone not through the charity of their heart but because that worker is required and necessary to the profitability of that establishment and paying him when he is ill changes none of that.


Your first caller revealed his sentiments pretty clearly when he made an exception for his own concerns, namely food preparation: he doesn't want paid sick days unless it happens to affect him. I have news for him: DiBlazio is his mayor and this is what we voted for. Detroit had an industry that moved largely overseas: this is New York City, we are not going to become Detroit no matter how much conservatives would like to predict it will.


I am curious as to how many city council members have a business background. And it is amazing how many people feel that a small businessman can afford this. You will see small businesses either close or move out of NYC.

Jack B.
Queens Village

New Yorkers already attacking the mayor? Wow the guy just started working one month. Whats classified as a small business? The store can be a little kiosk and make 20 billion dollars a year, everything isn't always what it seems in New York.


I'm not against 3 sick days or 5 sick days. What I'm against is the govt persecuting business owners. Where are the inspectors to make sure the worker is actually sick and not playing hooky from work! Also, can we track the success or failure of "paid sick leave" with the number of times the subway is delayed by a "sick passenger"?

Glen Oaks, Queens


Mary from Kew Gardens is correct; the people working in e back of restaurants don't pay taxes and threaten to leave when owners withhold taxes. Only Americans pay taxes. If I have five employees, now I hav four. Done.

midtown east

Dear John,

I am looking forward to starting my own business this spring, as a new business owner this required "Sick Leave" benefit is understandable and entirely reasonable, but it could endanger my new business from being a successful one compared to those businesses with higher budget lines.

I think that it may be more reasonable to introduce this new "Sick Leave" benefit to businesses with at least 20 workers or more, just to see what the actual impact would be.

Clifton, New York

My boss will just reduce the two weeks vacation per year policy to one week per year now that there are 5 sick days available. He will lose nothing.

Tom, Forest Hills

I understand this is an "opinion" show, but you shouldn't allow people to state outright lies. I just watched a guy say big companies in NYC get sick leave. Well, I work at a big company in NYC and don't get sick leave. So, simply put, that man was factually incorrect. You should fix your error now.

--Jason, forest hills ny

I think it's a good idea, but I think it's aimed at the wrong group and demographic. Also I think it is far to easily abused… Get hired… Take 5 paid sick days and then take off. That doesn't seem like a good hiring model…

Upper West Side

I am for the bill. If these business claim that they will not be profitable after providing paid sick leave then they should take their business out of New York City. Lets see how profitable will they be in an area without a 9 million people potential market.


I work 2 part time jobs, both at hourly rates. That means when I don't work I don't get paid. If I don't get paid I can't pay my bills including rent. If I can't pay my rent I risk eviction. I don't take vacations and even doctor's appointments are a problem. I'm not even covered by this bill. Listening to these people rant about how the bill will cause the end of civilization sounds like the so-called "small landlords" that whine every year at the rent guidelines board about how they're losing money. It's a joke. Americans work more hours than any other industrialized nation and we're considered deadbeats if we get sick.

meryl from manhattan

How in the world can business be expected to implement this law if we don't know what the law is!!! If you can't figure it out as a journalist covering this story, how can I as a small business owner with so many other issues to worry about.

Its easy to pass laws, but these people who pass them don't make it easy for business to follow them.

Please, city council, tell us what in the world this law is.

Murray Hill

I am not in favor of that vote what about all those people that are illegal working at these small businesses and do not pay taxes I don't think this is fair I worked for 35 year and before I could get one sick day I had to pass a three month probation period. I am so tired of Mark-viverito and the city council they are doing it wrong.

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