Proposed Legislation: Paid Sick Days Act.

March 30, 2012

My boss "told me that if I didn't show up, I would be replaced," Rocio Loyola, a Mexican immigrant said through a translator. "This is the story of so many employees."

The main goal of the Paid Sick Days Act, according to Councilwoman Gail Brewer (D-Manhattan), chief sponsor of the bill, would be to deter employers from making those kinds of threats. The proposed legislation would require businesses with more than 20 employees to give nine days of paid sick leave a year and five days for employers with fewer than 20 workers.

Local small business owners and lawmakers rallied in Elmhurst in support of a City Council bill that would require businesses to provide workers with paid sick days. Some workers, who support the legislation, state that employers who don't offer paid sick days often make them choose between their health and their jobs.

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) said the initiative was especially important for her district because there are so many small businesses there.

Opponents say that would stunt hiring and place an unfair burden on businesses. Jack Friedman of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, one such opponent of the proposed legislation said: "This would be the first government-mandated benefit that would place all cost on the backs of small businesses. It's going to hurt the same people it purports to help."