Press Statement
Top Work/Family Expert Expresses Grave Disappointment with Speaker Quinn’s Decision to Block Vote on Paid Sick Days

“Speaker Quinn’s decision to block a vote on the New York Paid Sick Time Act is a deep and bitter disappointment that will cost the city dearly. Her decision will mean that more workers are forced to make an impossible choice between their jobs and their health when illness strikes. It will mean more sick children in school and daycare, more contagious workers serving food in restaurants and caring for seniors at nursing homes. It will mean higher health costs for the city and greater risk for its residents when H1N1 and other contagious illnesses strike. It will mean increased costs for city businesses, which will face the consequences of presenteeism and workplace contagion. And it will likely put the Speaker’s political aspirations at risk, as workers, advocates and city leaders recognize the impact of her decision.

More than one million workers in New York City do not have a single paid sick day, including most employees in the food service industry and most low-wage workers. A super-majority of the City Council supports this bill for a good reason: It is good for women, good for workers, good for families, good for businesses, good for the city’s economy, and good for its public health.

There was simply no reason for Speaker Quinn to kowtow to the special interests that are working so hard to block this bill. Their scare tactics are baseless, and their claims have been disproven in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., where paid sick time laws are already in place.

Speaker Quinn’s decision will cost New Yorkers dearly, but it will not stop the momentum for paid sick time laws, which have overwhelming public support. The Speaker has promised to revisit her decision, so we hope this unnecessary delay will be short-lived and that New York City workers will soon have a paid sick time guarantee. It’s past time for lawmakers to stand up to special interests and take a stand for workers.

NOTE: More information on paid sick time is available at


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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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