New York City’s paid sick days bill would provide those individuals and families who risk their health to attend work, lest they be fired, to have the health and financial security they need. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, however, are blockading the measure. Apparently Bloomberg is more interested in battling 32-ounce Big Gulps than insuring the health and financial wellbeing of his city’s poor and disadvantaged.
As the NYCLU notes, New Yorkers “overwhelmingly favor the proposal.”
“The paid sick days bill is common sense and long overdue. It would make sure all New Yorkers could earn paid sick days and would prevent workers from losing their job just because they or their children get sick.”
Quinn, Bloomberg and the business community’s argument goes something like this: the bill is the product of “big labor” and will thus be a job killer. It won’t affect the richest businesses, which already offer paid sick leave, but the small businesses, many of which are run by immigrants. The small, neighborhood businesses will have to cut jobs, shorten hours or close shop altogether.
The rhetoric is hysteria at its finest. It’s not as if everyone will suddenly take sick leave, racking up multiple days to game the system. For the most part business will go on as usual, and only when it is necessary will workers take their paid sick days. You know, when a child is sick, or they have a very important health condition that needs attention. If Bloomberg and Quinn (who is eying the mayor’s office) have their way, people will have to decide between work and ill health for themselves or family members.
Those readers interested in lending their support to the NYC paid sick days bill can head over to the NYCLU to sign a petition, which will bombard Quinn with more of the already resounding voices of popular democracy, asking her to allow a vote to proceed. Read the text of the petition below:
Dear Council Speaker Christine Quinn,
I urge you to support the paid sick days bill. No one should have to lose pay or even lose their job just because they or their child gets sick.
In these tough economic times, too often our lawmakers seem to ignore the struggle of working New Yorkers. This sensible and humane legislation will allow working New Yorkers to take paid time off to care for ourselves or a sick family member, without having to sacrifice a paycheck.