DeBlasio calls for passing paid sick leave law - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DeBlasio calls for passing paid sick leave law

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The current influenza epidemic has led to call for legislation to require paid sick leave. 

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and other health care professionals held a rally Saturday afternoon in front of Beth Israel Medical Center and claimed that enacting the law is the only way to prevent people from choosing between staying home of losing a day's pay. 

"The first tip the city gives to flu sufferers is to stay home to rest and prevent spreading the virus. And that is exactly what thousands of New Yorkers are simply unable do. They risk their pay and even their jobs if they stay home to care for themselves or someone in their family. We need paid sick days -- it's a matter of public health," said Public Advocate de Blasio. 

The American Journal of Public Health estimates 5 million people, last time it was studied in 2009, were infected with flu symptoms due to workplace exposure. 

A paid sick leave bill was introduced to the City Council over two years ago.   

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a statement: 

"I believe providing paid sick leave to hard working families is a worthy and admirable goal, one I would like to make available for all. However, with the current state of the economy and so many businesses struggling to stay alive, I do not believe it would be wise to implement this policy, in this way, at this time. I stand by the commitment I made more than a year ago -- to continue to meet and discuss the legislation, in the context of the evolving economy, with Council leaders and the Paid Sick Coalition."

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