Paid Sick Time Act Gets Second Hearing

May 11, 2010 Updated: May 11, 2010

NEW YORK—Over a hundred people joined council members and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to call for a vote on legislation to ensure all New Yorkers get a full day’s pay on sick days. The Paid Sick Time Act had its second hearing Tuesday.

According to new federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paid sick days cost the employer merely an average of 23 cents per employee hour in private service occupations such as restaurant workers.

"We know making sure New Yorkers can take a day off when they are sick or need to care for their children—without having to miss a paycheck or worry about losing their job—is the right thing for workers,” said Councilmember Gale Brewer, lead sponsor of the Paid Sick Time Act, which recently had its second hearing.

“Now that we see this low price tag, we know it’s the right thing for businesses too. The time has come for paid sick days in New York City.”

The legislation would allow workers across the city to earn a basic amount of paid sick time on the job—up to five days a year for workers employed at small businesses and up to nine days a year for larger companies.

Any employer that already gives any paid leaves, including personal days or vacation usable under equivalent conditions will not have to make any changes or provide additional paid sick leaves.

"We already provide paid sick days because they’re fair for workers and good for businesses too,” said Samira Rajan, CEO of the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, in a press release.

“And small businesses are on board too once they understand the new lower requirements—and that the bill doesn’t ask businesses who already give leave to change. Just like we’ve seen in San Francisco, healthy workers, families, and customers will be good for New York City’s economy."

According to a study released by the Community Service Society and A Better Balance, roughly 1.85 million or 48 percent of working New Yorkers lack even a single day of paid sick time.