NY City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Bill

NEW YORK -

The New York City Council has passed expanded paid sick days legislation, a top priority of Mayor Bill de Blasio and progressives that will give the right to 355,000 workers to have paid sick days.

The bill will be the first that de Blasio, a Democrat, signs into law. He said Wednesday that the council “made history” with the legislation.

Combined with previous legislation, more than a half-million New Yorkers will now be entitled to take up to five sick days without fear of losing their job.

The law, which takes effect April 1, passed in a 46-5 vote. All three Republicans, citing the expense to small businesses, voted against the bill, as did Paul Vallone of Queens and Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx.

It is the first major piece of legislation enacted by the new left-leaning council led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Some small business owners have voiced concerns that the legislation creates a financial burden. Several small concessions to them include an allowance for businesses with between five and 19 employees to have a six-month grace period before being subject to fines.

Under the legislation, all businesses with at least five employees — up from 15 in a bill that passed last year — are eligible. There is also a two-year statute of limitations to file a complaint — up from nine months — and imposes a three-year record-keeping requirement, up from two years.