The New York Times hails this bill as: "A legislative compromise [that] represents a raw display of political muscle by a coalition of labor unions and liberal activists who overcame fierce objections from New York’s business-minded mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, and his allies in the corporate world."
Key Provisions of the New York City Paid Sick Time Act
As of April 1, 2014, workers in businesses with 20 or more employees will be able to earn up to 5 paid sick days a year to care for themselves or certain family members; beginning October 1, 2015, workers in businesses with 15 or more employees will be able to earn up to 5 paid sick days a year. Workers in smaller businesses will receive job protection for up to 5 unpaid sick days a year, ensuring that they can't be fired when they or their family members are sick.1
Employees must have worked for at least 4 months before being able to take sick leave, and part time workers will be included. Work study students are excluded. Workers in chains and franchises are covered by the bill. Certain workers in the manufacturing sector are excluded from the paid sick time requirement, but they will receive job protection for up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time.
Firms that already meet the minimum requirements of the bill will not have to provide any additional leave.
The Department of Consumer Affairs will enforce the bill. Complaints must be filed with the enforcement agency within nine months, and complaints can be filed by employees, former employees, or third parties.
Momentum for Paid Sick Leave around the United States
The momentum for paid sick day policies is growing in states and cities across the country, but illness knows no geographic boundaries and access to paid sick days should not be dependent on where a worker is employed.
The Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286 / S. 631) has been reintroduced in the House and Senate. The bill would guarantee workers the right to earn up to 7 paid sick days a year to address their own health needs or to care for a sick family member.
TAKE ACTION! Urge Congress to support The Healthy Families Act!
1 These numbers are based on the number of private sector workers by business establishment size as per analysis by Community Service Society of 2010 County Business Pattern Census Data.