After years of being blocked by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the full Council will finally vote and likely overwhelmingly approve a bill that mandates paid sick leave. The bill will be revised to exempt businesses with fewer than fifteen employees, a change that removes thousands of small retailers from its reach.
The advocates said the legislation would provide paid sick leave for one million New Yorkers who do not currently have such benefits. But to the disappointment of those who pushed for a more sweeping version of the legislation, New York City’s mandate would not take effect until spring 2014, and for the first 18 months, it would apply only to businesses with 20 or more employees, according to people involved in the negotiations. The measure is subject to a vote by the City Council. Mr. Bloomberg is expected to veto the measure, but there is enough support on the Council to override his veto.
The New York Times claims that Quinn finally caved after the drumbeat of negative press on the issue became too much of a distraction to her 2013 mayoral campaign. Quinn had vowed that she did support the bill (in its original form) but said that the city’s economy was presently too fragile to force such an expense on small businesses. The Times notes that similar bills in San Francisco, Portland, DC, and Seattle all set the bar at businesses with five or more employees.