NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — There were chants of victory Friday as lawmakers, union members and labor advocates celebrated what they say is a win for workers across New York City with a new bill that guarantees paid sick leave for employees.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and fellow lawmakers stood on the steps of City Hall to officially announce the agreement, which was reached Thursday night.
“It protects people, protects small businesses and I’m incredibly proud with this final piece of legislation,” she said.
In the past, Quinn has argued that while the goals of a paid sick leave bill are laudable, the measure would hurt struggling employers.
But the bill proposed Thursday would require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide five paid sick days to their workers beginning April 1, 2014 and to businesses with 15 or more employees by October 1, 2015.
All employees would have to be employed for at least four months to be eligible, including part-time workers. Seasonal workers and work-study students would not be eligible.
Under the proposed bill, which would be enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs, businesses of any size must provide unpaid sick leave to their employees beginning April 1, 2014.
“We wanted to do it in a way that was mindful of the economy and small businesses, both in size and impact,” Quinn said.
Councilmember Gale Brewer, who has pushed a paid sick leave bill for three years, said in a statement she was “honored” to be part of a City Council that addressed the issue.