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Leaving the Office to Talk About Leave

by Jeff Coltin
A A
Wall Street Subway

Ed Schipul, flickr

NYC officials spread the word on new paid sick leave

There are just two weeks left until working New Yorkers can spend what they have been earning. Starting July 30, workers in the city can start taking paid sick days based on the amount of hours they've worked. 

New York City Councilmembers and Mayor De Blasio joined volunteers fanning out across the city during the morning commute to spread the word about the new law (link to the Mayor's speech). Councilmember Helen Rosenthal passed out fliers at the 96th St. subway station on the Upper West Side.  She said the law is great for employees, who can even take off to care for a sick family member. But it's good for health in other ways too.

"I know I'll be able to walk into a restaurant and that my server will be healthy," she said.  "That my server will know that if he or she is sick, they'll have the option to stay home."

Councilmember Inez Barron agreed.

"I think the phrase is, "feel 100%, work 100%," she said. "We know we get the best results when people are at their maximum, and we know there's less spread of diseases and illness when people who are ill and need to stay home can, in fact, stay home."

Barron was posted at the New Lots Ave. stop in East New York. She said today's push was the biggest she's seen as a politician, even after five years in the New York Assembly. Barron says she just wants constituents to know what the city has to offer.

"There's so many benefits that are not utilized because people just don't know," she said. "So this is an effort to make sure that we get that word out and that everybody knows what they're entitled to."

She said today's campaign reflects the activist nature of many newly elected City Council members like herself.

The law's been touted as a progressive triumph by the new Mayor and Council.

Under the law, employees earn an hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Leave must be paid for businesses with more than five employees. Those with fewer must still give unpaid, no-consequences sick leave.

 

For more information from the City on the new paid sick leave law, click here.

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