On Thursday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn basically killed the paid sick leave bill by saying she would not support the measure which would require small businesses (less than 20 people) to give employee five paid sick days while larger businesses would need to give 9 paid sick days. She explained, "It would be a great thing if we could mandate every worker got paid sick leave But if we do that and it causes people to in fact lose their jobs, what benefit have we actually forwarded?"
Supporters of the bill had said the majority of businesses don't offer paid sick leave, while opponents claimed many businesses actually do and the bill would hurt businesses. Mayor Bloomberg, who had promised to veto the bill, reiterated the pro-business POV, "The bottom line is small companies don't need any added expenses at this point. The economy is too fragile." Additionally, Quinn is eyeing a run for mayor in 2013 and wants to preserve small business support.
City Council member Gale Brewer, who sponsored the bill, promised to keep fighting for it, "This issue is simple: no New Yorker should be forced to choose between the health of their children and a paycheck, but that is the reality for a million workers. This bill is simply the right thing to do: it has overwhelming support from New Yorkers and in the City Council; the facts on the ground in San Francisco show it is good for business; and it is a lifeline for public health for the ever more families hit by the recession that live paycheck to paycheck. The time has come for paid sick days in New York City and we will not stop working until it is a reality. I have worked in the women's movement for decades, and this legislation is of the utmost importance to all women and families."