Bloomberg Has Threatened Veto, But City Council Looks To Have Enough Votes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City legislators, labor advocates and business leaders have struck a deal on the hotly contested issue of paid sick leave.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced the agreement Thursday night. She said it will require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide five paid sick days to their workers beginning in April 2014.

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On Oct. 1, 2015, the same requirement would be extended to businesses with 15 or more employees. All employees would have to be employed for at least four months to be eligible.

Under the agreement, businesses of any size must provide unpaid sick leave to their employees beginning April 1, 2014.

Henry Rinehart owns Henry’s Restaurant on the Upper West Side and currently does not pay his wait or kitchen staff for sick days.

Rinehart told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis the measure could cost his restaurant thousands of dollars a year. But feels there is an upside, “If they go to the betterment of my employees, make them happier and more productive.”

The goal is to insure workers don’t lose pay or even their jobs simply because they’re sick. The City Council is expected to pass the measure.

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Quinn has long declined to bring the matter to a vote, arguing in the past that the measure would hurt small employers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has promised a veto, raising concerns about the impact on the economy and business owners.

But Quinn called it a “good, strong, and sensible piece of legislation that recognizes the needs of everyday New Yorkers and the realities that our struggling small businesses face.”

Even with Mayor Bloomberg’s planned veto, the City Council expects to have enough votes for an override to make paid sick leave New York City law.

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