NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a plan that would require companies to offer their workers 10 days of vacation time off each year.
The mandate would apply to private employers with five or more employees.
Workers would earn the benefit after 120 days of employment and the days would be in addition to five days of paid sick leave.
Watch: Bill de Blasio Calls For Paid Time Off Mandate
More than 500,000 full- and part-time workers currently receive no paid personal time, according to the mayor’s office.
The plan, which needs city council approval, would make New York City the first city in the nation with such a requirement.
“Workers across the nation have been working too hard without enough time to rest and recharge or enough time for family and important life events. Every other major nation recognizes the necessity of Paid Personal Time. We as a country must get there, and New York City will lead the way,” the mayor said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s announcement. “To be the fairest big city in America, New Yorkers can’t be forced to choose between bringing home a paycheck and taking time off to just disconnect or spend time with loved ones — that choice ends with Paid Personal Time. I look forward to working with Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the rest of city council on this important piece of legislation.”
Watch: Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas On Paid Time Off Plan
“It’s not as big a deal as the mayor is making it out to be,” said Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute. “It will only affect 11 percent of the city’s workforce. The city has 4.5 million workers, public and private, this will affect half a million people.”
Gelinas said most reputable employers already give their employees paid vacation days.
“If you are working for a small, struggling company, one with obviously more than five employees but maybe 10-15 people, a retailer that is fighting Amazon, that is fighting higher property taxes, higher health care costs for the workforce, yes, this is just one more cost for that company. And could it send some companies over the edge of not being able to be a viable business? Sure,” Gelinas said. “But for the majority of employers, places people would want to work for who have choices about where to work, they’re already offering vacation.”
Back in 2014, de Blasio signed a bill mandating private employers with five or more employees offer up to five days of paid sick leave.
The city council said it will listen to business concerns.
“We don’t want people to go out of business. We want people to be in business and thrive, but we also want to make sure that people are protected,” Councilman Jumaane Williams told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.
It marked the second day in a row the mayor rolled out initiatives to burnish his national reputation as a progressive. On Tuesday, it was health care for all.