Paid Sick Leave Meets Flu Season

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

City Councilmember Gale Brewer discusses her ongoing efforts to pass paid sick leave legislation in New York City.


Gale Brewer

Comments [20]

Mike from Ocean County, NJ

I had listened to part of the program this morning on Jan. 15th. The thought occurred to me that if we can't have paid sick leave according to the mayor because it would wreck the economy for small businesses, why can't we have a limited paid sick leave when there's a health emergency? As long as the emergency is limited to real ones, and not abused by labor interests, wouldn't that go some way to addressing the issues discussed? Even if we're not dealing with 100% percent of the problem, this is still a viable way of dealing with a real problem and may save some lives.

The revenue to support this is also problematic. If it is limited to emergencies, though, there might be less resistance.

Thanks, Brian for constantly dealing with subject matter that affect the people of our area.

Jan. 15 2013 12:53 PM

I got Norovirus twice from NYC takeout places. Not nice.

Jan. 15 2013 12:12 PM
Sarah from Monroe, NY

Restaurant's kitchen staff may be full time, but most of the wait staff is not, and so would not qualify for any paid time off. Also, waiters and waitresses are only paid half of minimum wage since most of their income comes from tips. So, even with paid time off, most waiters would not be able to afford to stay home. Their jobs would be protected if they did take a day or two off, but other than that, this bill would not help them and therefore would not protect the public from sickness.

This bill proposes that it is effecting an important change, but if most businesses already meet the standards of the bill (because they offer paid vacation time) and the main businesses it would apply to would be restaurants, it will have very little real impact.

Jan. 15 2013 11:00 AM
Bayman from Bayside

Regarding getting a doctor's note to verify sick leave: What about workers without health insurance? They'd have to pay a doctor out of pocket, probably spending all the wages they received for the sick day in the first place-and possibly more than those wages!

Jan. 15 2013 10:43 AM
Stella from Downtown

Can Speaker Quinn has prevent this bill bill from getting to the floor without a debate? And why has she? Actually, I can't believe her metamorphosis from working class hero to working class scourge (may St. Vincent's Hospital rest in peace). Anyway, it's obvious this bill would help more than it would harm. Kudos to Gail Brewer for her articulate defense of the bill.

Jan. 15 2013 10:35 AM
Maria from Rockland

I am a school teacher. This September my school administrator shared a concern about teacher absences affecting their students' performance on state tests... After all, we are now being evaluated and judged based on said measure. I can't afford to get sick! My students can't afford to get sick! And my district can't afford to thoroughly sanitize the classrooms, including shared boards, materials, laptops, keyboards, mice, etc., on a daily basis. Catch 22!

Jan. 15 2013 10:31 AM
Bronwyn from BK, NY

I juts want to point out that often an employee is not loyal because the employer is terrible! Why should an employee be loyal to an employer who treats them like they are not worthy of anything more than employment and that they are expendable and sometimes invisible.

Jan. 15 2013 10:28 AM
Gene from Manhattan

All restaurants, even small ones should be required not to allow sick people to work. They are handling food. That is one of the easiest ways to spread many communicable diseases.

Jan. 15 2013 10:24 AM
JB212 from SOHO

All the restaurants the guest just named - that offer paid sick time - are part of the same large restaurant group.

Jan. 15 2013 10:24 AM
Michael from NY, NY

Employers who allow earned personal time should not be excluded. My employer has that system. The employees who are sick end up coming into work because they don't want to waste their personal time on a sick day rather than a vacation day. The only way to make this work is to have separate vacation/personal days and sick days.

Jan. 15 2013 10:22 AM
Bonn from East Village

The continuing ed instructors (who are not considered adjuncts) city colleges don't get paid when they are out sick. Most teachers come to work with bad colds when they should be at home. If they can get out of bed, they come to work. It's just awful the lack of benefits that continuing ed teachers have.

Jan. 15 2013 10:22 AM

mother of god people have been getting sick since time began...and now we just noticed. scary stuff

Jan. 15 2013 10:21 AM

To the last caller "John" who says that the private sector can't compete with the public sector: It actually can; in fact it used to be the other way around. What the caller fails to mention is

(1)the public sector is paid much less in exchange for better benefits

(2)the private sector used to have better benefits than the public sector. But once private companies became publicly traded and the majority of profits went to investors and executives instead of the workers, thats when the benefits of private sector employees declined.

Jan. 15 2013 10:21 AM
carolita from nyc

Gosh, I love listening to you quaint salaried people complain about not getting paid sick days. Why don't you take a walk in my world, the world of the free-lance worker, who just doesn't get paid if s/he doesn't show up for work? At all? Ever? Because we have no sick days, no vacation days, ever? So, if I wake up with a fever and dizziness due to flu, it's just too bad for me when I stay home.
I've seen people in my business show up with surgical masks, or simply try to stay as far away from people as they can. But it's not reassuring. Me, personally, I can't work if I'm sick. I stay home and lose money. It simply means I live on my credit card, I don't earn as much this week or this month as I could have, and I just cross my fingers that my clients will not find someone they think can replace me permanently.

But even though it wouldn't help ME, I do agree that the service industry should have emergency sick leave days imposed on them, economy or no.

Jan. 15 2013 10:20 AM
Jenny Greeman from Harlem

I'm working from home right now and I'm so grateful my employer provides this option. I am healthy enough to think, but sick enough to cough all over my colleagues. I believe outfitting an office with a "telecommuting" option is really cost effective over the long term because it enhances the employees' quality of life while reducing sick days and missed deadlines.

Jan. 15 2013 10:17 AM

We are pussies...what happened to us.

Jan. 15 2013 10:16 AM
john from office

Has Ms. Brewer ever ran a business??. She sounds like an elected offical that never had to meet a rent payment or a payroll.

Jan. 15 2013 10:14 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Small businesses will be hurt worse if their sick employees come in & spread the flu to other employees--& their customers.

Jan. 15 2013 10:13 AM
Sara from Bushwick

Talk to the landlords - the reason people, especially food service workers, go to work sick is because they can't pay the exorbitant NYC rents if they don't.

Jan. 15 2013 10:13 AM

anyone know how many times a day the subways are disinfected?

Jan. 15 2013 10:12 AM

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