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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quinn Won't Support Paid Sick Leave Bill

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced this afternoon that she won't support a controversial bill that would require all businesses to provide paid sick days to their workers. Labor groups and politicians have been rallying for months to get the legislation passed (nearly every Bronx City Council member, and Borough President Diaz, supports it).

Her decision means a probable end for the bill, at least for now, despite the fact that it had the veto-proof support of 35 City Council members. As Council Speaker, Quinn decides what bills come to the floor for a vote--meaning the Paid Sick Leave Act will likely be shelved, as it's been for the past several months.

Quinn said she was concerned that the requirement would be too much for small business owners to take on during a time of recession.

"In an ideal world, we’d be able to provide all benefits to every New Yorker. In a better economy, we might have the financial freedom to both expand benefits and create new jobs. But that’s not the reality we live in," Quinn said in a statement sent out this afternoon. "Now is simply not the right time for a measure that threatens the survival of small business owners."

The Paid Sick Time Act would make all businesses with 20 workers or more provide nine paid sick days, while smaller businesses would have to give five.

Groups in support of the bill are already coming down hard on Quinn, with accusations that she's looking to appease the business community to safeguard potential future plans for a Mayoral run.

"Speaker Quinn's decision not to move forward with this bill is a victory for the fear-mongering tactics of business lobbyists who have opposed every piece of pro-worker legislation from child labor laws to the minimum wage," said  Bob Master, Co-Chairman for the Working Families Party.


  1. Quinn is selling out the working people for her own political future. People in government get sick paid, but what about the rest of us. What we have here is Bloomburg part II!!!!!

  2. What we need here is a government that takes care out its people. The city, state, and federal governments should guarantee and pay for a full two weeks of sick leave for all employees whose employers do not provide it.

    It should be mandated for all workers over 18 who work at least 20 hours a week.

    This would be paid for by taxing all other employees and employers with a modest payroll tax of 1% of total income (no cap to the amount liable to be taxed).

    We should also lobby the city (at the least) for a new increased minimum wage of $10/hr. If you can't pay that, you are denied access to the huge NYC market.

    In fact, the minimum wage probably shouldn't be based on a hourly wage, but rather a yearly wage. Each citizen over 18 should be guaranteed a wage equal to the federal poverty line ($18,000/year apx?).

    It is despicable that anyone is living in poverty in a nation as prosperous as our own. Those of us doing well should be ashamed that any of our brothers and sisters live in poverty.


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