12:49 pm Sep. 21, 2012
Celeste Katz publishes an open letter signed by 25 City Council candidates in which they deem "unconscionable" the fact that Paid Sick Days legislation has not come up for a vote, despite having support from more than enough members to pass the 51-member City Council.
The "unconscionable" part is stated with awkward passivity—"the bill has failed to come to the floor," bringing to mind that Schoolhouse Rock video—and does not mention City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is responsible for the fact there's been no vote on the bill.
The bill's sponsor, Gale Brewer, told a group of Democrats earlier this week she's not pushing for an immediate vote because she's unsure it would pass, and that she is still working on a compromise with Quinn.
Quinn said she supports the concept of the bill, but said the city's economy is too weak to implement the measure in its current form. She has not identified economic benchmarks that would indicate a sufficiently improved economy.
The bill, significantly, is also opposed by Quinn's ally Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said it would have an adverse affect on businesses in New York City. But the city does advocate a policy that is in line with the bill's overall goal: allowing unhealthy workers to stay home until they recuperate.
On the website for the New York City Department of Health, there's a section that talks about communicable diseases. It says, "Should an infected person stay home? Yes. Sick people should stay home until completely recovered, especially food handlers and workers in schools, day centers and health care centers."
A couple of restaurant and bar owners who spoke at the same meeting Brewer attended said they allow workers to stay home when they're sick by allowing them to swap shifts with co-workers.