New York City workers won a huge victory with this week when a compromise was reached to require businesses with more than 15 employees provide paid sick days. City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn has blocked paid sick leave legislation from coming to a vote for three years.
On February 9’s Up w/ Chris Hayes, Chris’ “Now We Know” segment discussed a Centers for Disease Control study which found that more than half of all norovirus outbreaks can be traced back to sick food service workers. Chris also specifically mentioned Speaker Quinn’s refusal to bring the bill that was before the City Council to the floor for a vote. While the compromise measure that Quinn agreed to on Thursday is seen as a huge win, it’s necessary to remember that Quinn was single-handedly responsible for preventing this measure from being approved before now. Quinn cited the potential economic harm the bill could do to NYC businesses.
Workers’ rights groups celebrated the new measure as an imperfect victory, but an important one nonetheless. Quinn’s rivals in the race for New York City Mayor are also unlikely to let this bill and its long road to passage go as an issue during the campaign. On March 24th’s Up w/ Chris Hayes, four mayoral candidates discussed the paid sick leave bill and sharply criticized Quinn for her inaction. Thursday’s deal did not mollify NYC Public Advocate and candidate Bill de Blasio; he spoke out against the bill and Quinn. “People aren’t dumb, they’ll figure out that their interests were not her priority,” he said at a speech in Harlem after the compromise was reached.