Merchants are worried sick over paid leave


Honey Banin has managed Gruenbaum’s Bakery on Riverdale Avenue since her family opened the store nearly a decade ago. She said while the business has weathered the recession, having to give the bakery’s seven employees paid sick leave would be unaffordable.

“We want to be fair to our workers,” Ms. Banin said. “But if the business closed… would you rather have sick pay, or would you rather have a job?”

Making every business in the city with five or more employees provide paid sick leave became the first major legislative proposal of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term on Jan. 17. With support from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mr. de Blasio announced plans to expand a previous bill that required businesses with 15 or more workers to provide paid sick leave.

“This is going to be one city, where everyone has a shot and rises together,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement.

District 11 City Councilman Andrew Cohen endorsed the proposal.  “I think that people should not be forced to choose whether they eat or are sick,” he said in a phone interview. “People do get sick.”

Mr. Cohen said he expects the legislation to provide stability to low-wage workers in particular.

However, Sergio Villaverde, chairman of Community Board (CB) 8’s Economic Development Committee, said a number of small business owners are concerned the paid sick leave measure will add to their burdens in an already difficult economy.

“With the percentage of small businesses that go under, we have to balance the needs of businesses and workers,” said Mr. Villaverde, who added that CB 8 is yet to take an official stance on Mr. de Blasio’s proposal.

Mr. Villaverde said many small business owners and managers have the same benefits and obstacles as their employees. Ms. Banin, for instance, said she does not receive paid sick leave herself.

“The business owners are working people themselves, for the most part, and sitting in the same boat as their employees,” Mr. Villaverde said.

Page 1 / 2


3 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

The eecent proposal to allow workers more sick time will marginally increase employyes costs and lower profits. Since small business runs our country and you have to look no further than the Bronx to see such an abundance of small businesses- you would think our elected officals, in the wake of massive Bronx unemployment, that they would find a way to increase employment and have NEW workers fall under this plan, instead of assisting current workers with a small yet destructive piece of legislation

Thursday, January 23, 2014

So, Gruenbaum’s Bakery now has sick workers, who can't afford to stay home, preparing and selling FOOD?... Nice.

Respect and consideration for your workers and your customers would be a good idea.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hello everyone - This legislation will cause one thing for sure,workers to use all of their paid sick time,I whether they are ill or not. And, did you notice that de Blasio's wife (who has no legitimate role in elected government) has the city pay her chief of staff $170,000 a year?

Friday, January 24, 2014