New York City
CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL
VINCENT ALVAREZ JANELLA T. HINDS
August 24, 2010Dear Councilmember,Even as New York City shows signs of recovering from one of the worst economic downturns in our
nation’s history, far too many working families are living near or close to poverty. And among those
lucky enough to have employment, the chances of also having decent benefits are slimmer than ever.
We’d like to ex
tend our sincere thanks to all the City Councilmembers who already signed on to the PaidSick Time Act [Int 0097-2010], sponsored by Councilmember Gale Brewer.
If you haven’t pledged your support to this important piece of legislation, we ask you to plea
se consider backing the Paid Sick Leave Act now. The bill would give workers a basic, affordable benefit that would protect their jobs and wages if they fall ill. This benefit can be achieved without placing undue financial burden on small businesses or mom-and-pop employers, and is important for public health, since it wouldhelp stop the spread of communicable illnesses.Most of the hardworking men and women that we represent get paid sick days as part of their negotiatedcontracts. But we believe that everyone deserves to take a day off to care for their health or that of aloved one, without the risk of losing wages or being terminated. Paid sick days should be a basicworkplace standard for all New Yorkers.A study released earlier this year by the Community Service Society found that between 1.4 and 1.6million working New Yorkers do not get any paid leave from their jobs
not vacations, and not sick time.Workplace benefits have eroded substantially compared to 2007 pre-recession levels. In 2011, only 41 percent of near-poor workers -- those just above the poverty line -- had paid leave, compared to 56 percent in 2007, and 64 percent in 2004.When these workers get sick, they're often forced to choose between their health and their livelihood.The Paid Sick Time bill would let New Yorkers earn paid sick leave, while protecting small businesses.Business with fewer than five workers would not have to provide paid sick days, but workers could not befired for using up to five days of unpaid sick time a year. Under this compromise about 62 percent of businesses in New York City would be exempt from this legislation. New York City should join with other cities and states that have made paid sick days a basic workplaceright. We hope to count on your leadership to help make that happen.Sincerely,(Signatures attached)
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