NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on Saturday joined food service workers protesting their employers’ use of sick days to account for the time they missed during Superstorm Sandy.

More than 4,000 workers at corporate cafeterias and catering firms were docked sick days when their workplaces were closed and transportation was unavailable following the storm, de Blasio’s office said.

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In a letter issued Saturday, de Blasio took issue with the companies’ choice to penalize the workers for missing work due to circumstances beyond their control.

“Missing work in the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy was not a choice–it was unavoidable,” de Blasio said in the letter. “Employees should not bear the full economic brunt of circumstances beyond their control.”

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De Blasio went on to call sick time “a critical support for working families,” and said sick time ensures food service employees stay home from work when they are too sick.

The letter was sent to Aramark, Compass Group, Sodexo, AVI Foodsystems, Acorn Food Services, Mr. Stax Inc., and Gourmet Dining LLC.

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What do you think about the companies’ choice to use sick days for workers who couldn’t come in during the storm? Leave your comments below…