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NYC council works on sick-leave bill

  |   March 29, 2013 at 8:57 AM
NEW YORK, March 29 (UPI) -- New York City could soon join Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Seattle and Washington with a law to guarantee sick-leave benefits for workers.

Late-night negotiations on a proposed law have resulted in a compromise between liberals representing workers and a resistant group representing the business community, The New York Times reported Friday.

As part of the compromise, the law would not require five paid sick days per year to take effect until 2014. It also applies only to companies with 15 or more workers, as opposed to other cities where the threshold is five workers.

The proposal, which must by approved by the City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is expected to be vetoed by the mayor, but there are enough council members favoring the measure to override Bloomberg's veto, the Times said.

The measure already had a tough time getting by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. But since she announced her ambitions to try to succeed Bloomberg as mayor, liberal politicians, union leaders and even feminist Gloria Steinem have increased their public rhetoric challenging Quinn to put the measure up for a vote.

Some believe the deal, which also ensures workers do not lose their jobs due to absences for illness, does not press companies hard enough.

"It's not perfect. But it's very important to get this done in New York," said Sherry Leiwant, co-president of A Better Balance, a group that was lobbying for the l aw.

The law would force employers with fewer than 15 workers to allow five days of sick leave, but without pay, the Times said.

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