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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Event

Mayor de Blasio & City Council Announce Major Expansion of Paid Sick Days

MRNY member Esmeralda Valencia with Mayor de Blasio

Small business owner and MRNY member Esmeralda Valencia commends the mayor and the city council for expanding Paid Sick Days.

It’s a new day for working class New Yorkers!

This afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and members of the City Council announced an exciting new proposal to expand New York City’s Paid Sick Days law, which MRNY and our partners helped to win last spring!

Under the original law, set to take effect this April, employers with 15 employees or more will be required to provide 5 paid sick days — impacting one million workers. Mayor de Blasio’s proposal would extend this requirement to businesses with 5 employees or more. 

The new proposal also includes manufacturing workers (who were left out of the original law). Hundreds of thousands more New Yorkers will be able to take a paid day off to care for themselves or a sick family member.

We know that the definition of a family and our responsibilities to one another go far beyond the nuclear unit. The new proposal expands upon the categories of family members, and workers would be able to use their earned sick time to care for a grandchild, grandparent, or sibling. This will make our families stronger and our communities healthier.

Mayor de Blasio made his announcement today at Esmeralda’s Restaurant, owned by one of MRNY’s Small Business United leaders Esmeralda Valencia, alongside City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and dozens of MRNY members. Esmeralda said,“Providing paid sick days makes good business sense. When I invest in my employees they become dedicated to my business.”

Leonardo and Esmeralda sit down with the mayor and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito to discuss the importance of expanding Paid Sick Days.

Also by the mayor’s side was Leonardo Fernando, a worker at Fresh Pond Car Wash, which has 13 employees and would now be covered under the mayor’s proposal. “I have lived and worked in this country for nine years, and I’ve never had a paid sick day,” said Leonardo. “We work long hours at the car wash, sometimes 12-hour shifts in the heat and the cold, and we use hazardous chemicals. But I never take a day off, even when I’m sick. I’ve gone to work with the flu because I have four children and I can’t afford to miss a day’s pay or risk losing my job.

We at MRNY are thrilled that the new administration has made Paid Sick Days one of its first priorities, and we look forward to working with the City Council to pass this legislation that is so critical for workers’ rights and public health in our city.