More than 15 women representing New Yorkers in City Hall, Albany and Washington DC held a press conference today in hopes of pressuring Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on a bill that would give workers five paid sick days a year to take care of themselves or their loved ones. (Tiny businesses with fewer than five employees would be exempt, and would only have to provide five job protected sick days.) The sick-leave bill has been stalled on the Council floor for more than 1,000 days.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney: "The facts are enough to make you sick: America is the only industrialized nation in the world that fails to guarantee paid sick leave. That's why I've long advocated guaranteeing American workers paid sick days on the federal level. But right here in New York, we can bypass congressional gridlock, enact paid sick leave, and make the Big Apple a national leader in protecting the health of our citizens and guaranteeing elementary fairness to all the working women and men who make our great city tick. I urge the City Council to pass the paid sick leave legislation!"
Assemblymember Gabriella Rosa: "As a long-time working mother that has experienced the delicate balancing act that occurs between raising children, managing a household, and working full-time, I cannot advocate strongly enough for the passage of the Paid Sick Time Act. It is long past time that our society supports all working families as they struggle to raise children, advance their careers, and contribute to their local workforce. I stand strongly with my fellow elected officials, workers, and activists as together we call upon the City Council to pass this important piece of legislation."
Councilmember Julissa Ferreras: "Since its introduction in 2010, I have been a supporter of the Paid Sick Days Act. In my district, there is an overwhelming majority of residents that do not have paid sick days – many of whom are low-income female and immigrant workers. If passed, the act would not only help protect these workers from being exploited on the job, but more importantly, this legislation will set a precedent that our great city cares for its own people. Working mothers who are struggling to make ends meet should not be forced to face the unthinkable task of having to choose between their health and the health of their children or risk losing their job and family income. A vote for paid sick days is a win for the economy, a win for the people and a win for small business owners, who only stand to gain from the productivity a well-rested and healthier staff will bring."
More at nycforpaidsickdays.org.