City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Opposes Paid Sick Leave Bill, Report Says
By Ben Fractenberg and Della Hasselle
MANHATTAN — A bill proposing compulsory paid sick days for workers may be shot down by City Council, the New York Post reported Thursday.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced she will oppose the bill, which proposes requiring five paid sick days for employees at small companies and nine paid sick days for businesses with 20 or more employees, the Post reported.
"In an ideal world, we’d be able to provide all benefits to every New Yorker," Quinn said in a statement. "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."
The news comes after a study released Wednesday that showed people working for the city during the fiscal year ending June 2010 called out sick an average of 8.5 days, according to the city's Internal Budget Office.
The IBO report found that sick days varied by agency.
Sanitation workers averaged 11.5 paid sick days while police and fire fighters took around seven sick days each.
On average, the number of sick days used by public sector employees is nearly three times that of private sector workers, who took an average of three days off in 2008, the New York Post reported Thursday.
Opponents of the paid sick leave bill, such as the Five Borough Chamber of Commerce and Partnership for New York City, say small business workers would start to abuse the new rules and that it would discourage new hiring.
Proponents of the measure, including the Working Families Party and speakers for the Drum Institute, have pointed to other cities that have instituted a similar policy, the Post said.
"Business owners in San Francisco, the city with the most evidence and data on paid sick leave, report that paid sick leave is not a benefit that workers abuse, and even original opponents of paid sick leave there now acknowledge this fact," Drum Institute spokesman Dan Morris told the Post.