New York City’s legislature has finally come to its senses. New York City has now become the most populous city in the United States to make businesses provide workers with paid sick time equal to five days – after the New York City Counsel overruled Mayor Bloomberg’s veto to pass a law expected to provide protection to over 1 million workers in the event they are sick.

Similar laws have been passed throughout the United Sates, but never to a city of such magnitude. Under the new law, employees of businesses with 20 or more workers would get up to five paid sick days a year beginning in April 2014; the benefit would commence by October 2015 at businesses with 15 to 19 workers. All others categories of business would have to provide five unpaid sick days per year, meaning that workers couldn’t get fired for using those days.

In the event the City takes an economic plunge, there is a provision in the law that will postpone its time to go into effect.

There is also the option that employees who choose to work extra hours instead of taking sick time, can swap shifts rather than stay home sick. That provision could be attractive to restaurant waiters or bartenders, for example, since the paid sick time wouldn’t include tips.

Unfortunately, the City Council decided to exempt manufacturing companies from the paid sick time requirement — the rationale being that they’re apparently struggling, even though an argument can be made that the entire economy of New York City is still battling through the effects of the recession. Luckily, these workers will still be protected from firing for taking unpaid sick days.

As always, if you believe you or your family member was and/or has been mistreated in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact the employment attorneys at the Law Office of Risman & Risman, P.C. at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.

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