You probably didn’t know that more than one million New York City workers, mostly low wage workers, lack paid sick days, with the largest concentrations in food service, retail and health care. Or that nearly one in four workers reports that they have lost a job or were told they would lose their job if they took time off due to personal or family illness. Or that half of working moms miss work when a child gets sick. Of these, half lose pay when they take this time off.
But it’s because of injustices like these that New Yorkers, and everyone, really, needs paid sick days. And that’s why New Yorkers are demanding a a paid sick days bill, which would allow workers to earn five paid sick days a year, which employees could use to recover from illness, seek preventive care, or care for an ill family member. The bill has support from the majority of the City Council.
Sadly, Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, who could very well become New York’s first female and out LGBT mayor, has blocked the bill from being voted on for over 1,000 days. This is why Gloria Steinem, a former Quinn supporter, said she would withdraw her support for Quinn’s mayoral run if the Speaker refused to let the paid sick days bill get to the floor: “Making life fairer for all women seems more important than breaking a barrier for one woman,” said Steinem.
And today, Fifteen women elected officials gathered [with members of Make the Road New York] at City Hall today to demand that Quinn finally allow a vote on the bill requiring employers to give their workers sick leave.
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