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NYC Council OKs Bill Expanding Required Paid Sick Leave

FILE -- A man attends a rally in front of City Hall to show support for a paid sick leave bill on March 29, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

FILE — A man attends a rally in front of City Hall to show support for a paid sick leave bill on March 29, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council has passed legislation expanding required paid sick leave.

The new bill has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio. It will give the right to have paid sick days to 355,000 workers.

The bill will be the first that de Blasio, a Democrat, signs into law. He said Wednesday that the council “made history” with the legislation.

“Under this law, thousands of hardworking New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between taking a sick day or earning a paycheck — and thousands of parents will no longer be forced to pick between caring for a sick child and earning enough to provide for them,” de Blasio said in a statement. “From waitresses and dish washers to store clerks and car wash workers, New Yorkers across the five boroughs will finally have legal protection to a basic right that so many of us take for granted each day — and employers will benefit from a stronger and healthier workforce.”

Combined with previous legislation, more than a half-million New Yorkers will now be entitled to take up to five sick days without fear of losing their job.

The bill passed in a 46-5 vote. It is the first major piece of legislation enacted by the new left-leaning council led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“It came to a point where there was a negotiation, and some sort of compromise was arrived at, but there were many of us in the council today that believe that we wanted to bring back the original intent of the law,” Mark-Viverito said.

Some small business owners have voiced concerns that the legislation creates a financial burden. And some of the council members who¬†voted for the bill seemed hesitant to do so, WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reported.

“I would have preferred to see the other law go into effect in April as it was supposed to and see if any of these concerns that were raised by the business community were indeed true,” said Councilman Mark Wepin, D-Queens.

The City Council passed a similar bill in May, then overrode former¬†Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto in June. That legislation mandated sick days at businesses employing 15 or more employees. The latest bill lowers the number to five workers or more.

The bill, which would take effect April 1, also gets rid of an exemption for workers in the manufacturing sector adds grandparents, grandparents and siblings to the list of family members whom workers can take time off to care for if sick.

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