New York City Council passes paid sick leave, 45-3
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 May 11, 2013
It took a long struggle, but the New York City Council finally voted on paid sick leave this week, passing a compromise bill overwhelmingly. And I do mean overwhelmingly: The vote was 45 to three. Mayor Michael Bloomberg objects to the bill, but that is a strong veto-proof majority right there.
Despite that support, paid sick leave took years to get to a vote because it was blocked by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading mayoral candidate. It took a sustained fight to get even this compromise:
The mandate will not take effect until April 1, 2014. Between then and Oct. 1, 2015, only businesses with at least 20 employees will be required to provide five paid sick days. After that, the mandate will extend to businesses with at least 15 employees. Manufacturing businesses will be exempt. The bill also allows for the regulation to be postponed if the citys economy worsens, as measured by an index published by the Federal Reserve.
The votes were there for something stronger, but Quinn wouldn't allow it to come to a vote. Nonetheless, as the deputy director of the Working Families Party, one of the groups that led the fight for paid sick leave, put it:
"Because of this, life will get a little bit better for a whole lot of people in our city. Every worker, every small business owner, every advocate, every donor and every labor leader who spoke up and organized for this over the last 3 years is right to be proud. Nothing good ever happens without a struggle."
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