A group of Latino immigrants gathered on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday
to make the case for the passage of paid sick days legislation.
Make the Road New York, the grassroots group that
organized the rally, called on the City Council to pass the paid sick time bill
as members arrived for a council meeting Wedensday afternoon. The group largely
works on behalf of low-income Latino immigrants, both legal and illegal.
waved flyers shaped like oversized hand sanitizer bottles with information
about the legislation on the back.
Hernández, a Mexican immigrant who was assaulted by five men and robbed while
on the job as a restaurant delivery man, spoke about the consequences he had to
deal with after his boss told him to take a week off to recover.
I showed up a week later ready to work, my boss told me I no longer had a
job," Hernández recounted. "I was severely injured while working and not
only did I not get paid for the time I spent in the hospital or at home
recovering, but I lost my job of the time I missed."
council members are concerned the requirements of the legislation would hurt
small businesses struggling to make ends meet.
Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who is the chief sponsor of the Earned Paid Sick Time
bill, says that the legislation would be carried out with compromise in mind.
want to do this with sensitivity to the business community, but it’s important
that we pass a bill that ensures the universality of paid sick days for
everyone," Brewer said on the steps of City Hall.