En EspaƱol Know Your Rights
Source: Daily News
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito agree to expand paid sick leave law

The new law will require businesses with five or more employees to provide five days of paid sick leave a year, dramatically expanding last year’s measure that mandated sick pay for companies with 15 or more workers. Critics say the new measure will put pressure on struggling small businesses, and some Council members say they learned of the deal through the media.

As many as 500,000 more New Yorkers will be guaranteed paid sick days under an agreement announced Friday by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — but not everyone was cheering.

Some small businesses said the planned law would impose a hardship, and some Council members grumbled that they weren’t consulted before the mayor and speaker struck their deal.

The new law will require businesses with five or more workers to provide five days of paid sick leave a year, dramatically expanding a measure enacted last May that mandates sick pay at companies with 15 or more workers.

It’s the first collaboration between the new mayor and the newly minted Council speaker, and a dramatic representation of their vow to bring more liberal policies to city government.

“This City Hall is going be on the side of working families all over this city,” de Blasio said.

“Our goal is to create one city where everyone can rise together and this is one of the steps we have to take to make that possible.”

Many Council members learned of the deal through the media, leaving many of them “discontented,” one said. “There was no input,” the member added.

Another Council source said many members fear that this will be the new norm, because de Blasio lobbied Council members to elect Mark-Viverito speaker and the two share a “progressive” agenda.

“It was very top-down,” said the source.

Standing with de Blasio at a campaign-style press conference in Brooklyn [including Make the Road New York], Mark-Viverito dismissed the criticism. “This was a conversation that has been going on for many years,” she said.

Critics said the new mandate will put pressure on struggling small businesses. “The small, independent operator has little room to absorb extra costs,” Jay Peltz, of the Food Industry Alliance, a lobbying group that includes mom-and-pop grocers.

The Partnership for New York City, a business group that opposed the five-employee threshold during last year’s debate, offered a muted response Friday.

“Our hope is that these amendments to the current law will expand protection to more workers who need it, but avoid undue hardship on employers,” said Partnership CEO Kathy Wylde.

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