New York City is officially the largest city in the county to require that businesses give employers paid sick leave, despite the best efforts of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who claims the measure will "harm the very people it seeks to help." Too bad for him and other powerful critics (ahem mayoral wannabe Christine Quinn): lawmakers overrode a mayoral veto early today, which means the law will allow more than 1 million workers to take better care of themselves and their families.
New York will join Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and the state of Connecticut in requiring paid time off for at least some workers. Advocates say New York will serve as an example so that more cities will make companies give employees the paid time off they deserve.
"The catalyst will have been the successful struggle we waged here in New York City," Dan Cantor, the national executive director of the Working Families Party, told the AP.
"But small companiesssssssss," whined critics. Under the new law, only employees of businesses with 20 or more workers get up to five paid sick days a year starting in April 2014; businesses with 15 to 19 workers will wait a year and a half more. All other companies just have to provide five unpaid sick days a year. So: not perfect yet. But it's a massive, monumentous start.
Image via AP.