Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has signed legislation that prevents local governments in the state from passing ordinances requiring businesses to provide paid sick days to their employees. The bill was supported by business interests, including the the American Legislative Exchange Council, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Walt Disney World and Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster.
New York City workers will receive, starting next year, five paid sick days a year to care for themselves or an ill family member under a measure the New York City Council passed (45-3) this afternoon. The vote culminates a four-year effort by a powerful coalition of workers, unions and community groups.
The Healthy Families Act, a federal bill that would allow workers to earn seven paid sick days a year, was just introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Rosa DeLauro. Portland, Ore., was the most recent city to pass an ordinance granting workers earned paid sick leave. Will New York follow suit?
In most of the developed world, when people get sick or have a sick child, they take a sick day and take care of themselves and their families, keeping their co-workers, customers and clients safe. And they rest comfortably, knowing that getting sick won’t mean they can’t pay the rent or provide their children with needed school supplies. That’s the way it should be. In most of the advanced world, paid sick days are a right that protects working families, while at the same time boosting businesses and the economy.
With 12 votes needed, only 11 members of the Philadelphia City Council were willing to override Mayor Michael Nutter’s veto of the sick leave bill. For the second time in three years, corporate interests defeated a measure that would allow more than 180,000 Philadelphians to finally earn sick days.
“I’m very disappointed,” said city councilman Bill Greenlee, who tried but failed to get the 12 votes needed to override Mayor Nutter’s veto. “I’m particularly disappointed for the 180,000 workers who could have had a benefit that other cities are providing.”
In just two weeks, the movement for paid sick days has seen three victories—in Portland, Ore., Philadelphia and, most recently, New York City. Local coalitions in each place encountered fierce opposition, and yet the wave of wins continues.
Because people need it, demanded it and built the capacity to win.
New York City workers would receive five paid sick days a year under a measure the New York City Council will vote on soon. The New York Times reports the paid sick leave bill is expected to pass with enough votes to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s promised veto.
A powerful coalition of workers, unions and community groups mobilized around the issue that had been bottled up in the City Council. The groups were able to come to an agreement with Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn to bring the paid sick leave measure to a vote.