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Council should pass paid sick leave

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An open letter to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan):

It is time for paid sick leave to become law in New York. We should no longer force parents to choose between holding their jobs and caring for loved ones, especially young children. While paid sick leave would enable fathers to lean in by pitching in during family illness, it will especially be a godsend to single mothers.

The bill’s sponsors, to their credit, have compromised on substance, yet the concerns of small businesses over complying with this proposals do matter and warrant thoughtful consideration. The underlying concern for small businesses is twofold: the recovery remains uncertain due to dysfunction in Washington, D.C., tied to Republican intransigence on the sequester and the lead time required to plan for the implementation of this bill’s provisions.

Therefore, the bill should be modified so that paid sick time goes into effect one year after the bill’s passage.

This modification will give small businesses time to plan and enable the recovery to advance. In return for this change, you must finally agree to allow the bill to come up for a vote. If the sponsors delay implementation of the paid sick time for one year, you will have no principled ground upon which to deny a vote on this bill.

At every turn, opposition arose alleging that the cost for social justice would be too high. Meanwhile, at every instance employers adjusted, the economy flourished and working class families saw their path to the middle class paved not with good intentions, but with the solid brick of legal protections.

Do not use your power to stand against social justice on paid sick leave one day longer. Parents have reached the same point President Barack Obama captured in his State of the Union address on gun control: They deserve a vote.

William Thompson Jr.

Former City Comptroller

Manhattan

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