Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Council Members Alert New Yorkers to New Paid Sick Time Regulations

On inaugural day of Earned Sick Time Act, over a dozen Council Members distributed flyers at subway stations across the City to notify New Yorkers of their rights

New York, NY – City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and  over a dozen members of the City Council distributed flyers at subway stations across the City this morning to alert New Yorkers about the first day of the Earned Sick Time Act going into effect.

Passed by the City Council in February and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio last month, the Earned Sick Time Act provides paid sick time coverage for all businesses with five or more employees.

Beginning today, New Yorkers will start accruing paid sick time that can be used when either they or a family member falls ill. Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members Koo, Ferreras, Miller, Espinal, Kallos, Johnson, Dickens, Chin, Levine, Dromm, Rosenthal, Crowley and Richards marked the inaugural day of the Earned Sick Time Act by distributing flyers outlining the new regulations to commuters.

"The City Council is out in full force today to make sure New Yorkers know they no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and putting food on the table,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Today is the start of a new era for nearly one million working people in New York City and I thank my Council colleagues and the de Blasio Administration for making paid sick days a reality in our City and proving that our laws can live up to our values.”

“As of today, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers can go to work knowing that their jobs are protected if they or a family member falls ill,” said Council Member Margaret Chin.  “Earned sick time is both a public health concern and a human right, and it’s up to all of us to ensure that this expanded legislation works with employees and businesses to push our city toward a healthier and more productive future.”

“I’m looking forward to hitting the streets to promote the enactment of paid sick leave,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “This is a law that is to the benefit of our community and it is important that employers, employees, and their families understand their rights under it. ”

“Covered businesses have six penalty-free months to adjust to the requirements of paid sick leave law,” said Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.  “Now is the time to seek advice to ensure that your policies and record keeping conform with the law. Contact the Departments of Consumer Affairs and Small Businesses Services to seek help for your business today.”

“Today, April 1st, marks a historical day for New Yorkers, who deserve a valuable law that protects workers and gives them a respected standard of living. As the cost of living in the city increases, the enactment of the Paid Sick Leave law ensures New Yorkers their fundamental right to a sick day without having to choose between their health or obtaining a pay check,” said Council Member Inez E. Dickens. 

"I am proud to inform New Yorkers about the enactment of the Paid Sick Leave Act," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Thanks to the legislation that the Council passed, most New Yorkers can now take up to five paid sick days.  Paid sick days just make sense and I am very pleased that our new City Council and Mayor de Blasio have passed this law."

“This legislation will be a great benefit to many New Yorkers,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr. “No one should have to decide between their health and their job.”

“Today marks the first day that thousands of New Yorkers will no longer have to fear losing their job if they need to take a sick day to care for themselves or a family member,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “I am proud that my office can be a part of spreading this historic message. When workers feel one hundred percent, they can work at one hundred percent. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and all my colleagues in the City Council who kept the health of all New Yorkers at the forefront of the fight for the passage of this legislation.”

"For one million workers in New York City who currently don't have paid sick time, this law guarantees that they don't have to sacrifice a paycheck when they need a sick day.  For the 60% of low-wage workers who do not have paid sick time, our city will become one of greater opportunity," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Paid sick time means fewer people working and spreading illness when they are sick, which will mean fewer sick days needed by New Yorkers-- providing more robust economic activity."

"Today marks the first step towards protecting over 500,000 New Yorkers from having to choose between their health or their job,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “From the delivery man to the small entrepreneur, we are securing basic human rights for all, regardless of their economic standing. Paid sick leave improves the lives of all New Yorkers by allowing sick people to obtain the care they need.  It’s appropriate for this bill to be rolled out the day after Obamacare’s deadline to obtain health insurance, since now employees will have both the time and the means to treat their illness."

"For far too long, workers at small businesses were trapped between a rock and a hard place: go to work feeling ill or lose a day’s pay,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “They could not afford to lose a day’s pay, and now they don't have to. Starting today, expanded paid sick leave will improve the quality of life for the 360,000 workers affected by the new law and the thousands of family members who depend on them. "