By a 45-3 margin, the New York City Council on May 8 passed a bill mandating paid sick or family leave for millions of workers in thousands of businesses in the Big Apple. The margin can override any threatened mayoral veto.
The victory elated both women's groups and the New York City Central Labor Council. Both lobbied strongly for the legislation.
"Giving workers paid sick time has been demonstrably shown to improve worker productivity and reduce employee turnover, resulting in a cost-savings for employers," said CLC President Vincent Alvarez of IBEW Local 3. "Paid sick time should not be a privilege for a chosen few, but a basic right pursued by private and public employers, and one that is provided to as many workers as possible."
"There is undeniable momentum for paid sick days in this country, and New York City should be the push Congress needs to pass a federal standard," added Debra Ness, executive director of the National Partnership for Women and Families, which leads the nationwide movement. "With this historic win, the nation is closer to the day when no worker has to choose between health, family and job."