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Know Your Rights
Source: New York Post
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

City issues first sick-leave violations

The city has issued violations to a half-dozen businesses for failing to comply with the new paid-sick-leave law — the first enforcement actions since the law was passed in March, The Post has learned.

The violations, which are set to go before an administrative judge next month, include allegations that one firm fired a staffer for calling in sick.

Other companies were charged with failing to implement parts of the law or not informing employees of their rights.

The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs is refusing to identify the accused firms until the cases are resolved — either through fines, dismissals or settlements.

“[The] DCA’s goal is to provide the fastest and most cost-effective resolution for both the employee and employer so we provide various opportunities to resolve complaints and issues identified in investigation,” said agency spokeswoman Connie Ress.

“However, if an employer is unwilling to cooperate with our mediation efforts and come into compliance with the law, [the] DCA has and will issue violations, as we have in these cases.”

Overall since the law went into effect in April — with employees cleared to begin using sick days as of July 30 — there have been 289 complaints filed with the city.

Of those, 38 have alleged some kind of retaliation against a worker.
The bulk of complaints, 181, were against employers who didn’t provide notice of the workers’ new rights.

One critic said the city’s issuance of the violations has reinforced his view that the law is going to hurt small-business owners.

“My position is that the city saddles small businesses with too much regulation. I believed this law would have a negative impact on the ability of small businesses to grow and thrive in New York City — and I still believe that to be true,” said City Councilman Erich Ulrich (R-Queens).

But a supporter insisted the law is working as intended.

“So far, we have heard from workers as well as small-business owners [about] many instances of the law being implemented without a hitch,” said Hilary Klein of Make the Road New York, an activist group that backed the new law.

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