New York City’s paid sick leave bill would require five paid sick days per year for businesses with nineteen or less employees, and nine paid sick days yearly for businesses with twenty or more. The New York Times has an editorial saying the following on the subject:
More than 40 million American workers get no paid sick leave. They have to work when ill or take unpaid sick days, which can lead to financial hardship, or, worse, dismissal. The best way to address this workplace and public health problem is with a national law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave — a normal benefit for workers in at least 145 countries.
The article goes on to say, “American workers should have paid sick leave, and New York City could set a standard for the rest of the nation. Workers in the city deserve a sensible and humane sick-leave benefit now.”
Rupert Murdoch attacked the editorial on Twitter, saying, “Somebody needs to stand up to NYT which today editorialises strongly for absurd city council actions which will truly hurt small businesses.”
“Absurd city council actions which will truly hurt small businesses” seems a little bit of an absurd thing to say, actually, as New York law requires that nearly all employers have to have worker’s compensation insurance, which, if a workplace is known for being dangerous, rates rise. Studies show that
With all other variables held constant, workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% (95% confidence interval = 0.52, 0.99) less likely than workers without access to paid sick leave to be injured. The association between the availability of paid sick leave and the incidence of occupational injuries varied across sectors and occupations, with the greatest differences occurring in high-risk sectors and occupations.
The Murdoch-owned New York Daily News also scathingly attacked the new bill, praising Council Speaker Christine Quinn for resisting the bill, quoting her as saying, “With the current state of the economy and so many businesses struggling to stay alive, I do not believe it would be wise to implement this policy, in this way, at this time.”
The article also gives the following opinions:
Most larger operations already meet the proposed standards, so the onus would fall on small concerns — many of which, operating on the margins, simply cannot afford the sick-pay expense.
The proposed amendments implicitly recognize the truth that many small businesses haven’t the wherewithal to bear the costs. Make them offer paid sick days, and they’ll either employ fewer people or close up shop.
That also seems strange, considering that businesses with twenty or fewer employees will be given a one-year grace period to adjust to the new bill.
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