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Officials Say Paid Sick Leave Will Alleviate H1N1

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

With New York City's schools set to open tomorrow, and school officials braced for a new swine flu outbreak, some elected officials want to force all businesses to offer their employees paid sick leave. School nurse Mary Pappas treated the first wave of sick students at Saint Francis Prep in Queens, the focal point of last spring's H1N1 outbreak. She says paid sick days give parents the ability to stay home, to contain the spread of swine flu.

Pappas: In a public school where there's many kids with low income and parents have jobs without paid sick days, and if they leave their job, may lose their job, you have a completely different picture of how these children are going to be handled if they're not feeling well.

Sponsors of the paid sick leave bill want the City Council to review it this month and vote on it in October. The business community is against the bill, saying it would bankrupt small businesses.

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