NEW YORK – In their push for mandated paid sick days, labor leaders are planning to use one of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s core constituencies against her: gay-rights activists.
The NYC Campaign for Paid Sick Days plans to roll out prominent LGBT New Yorkers to publicly buck Quinn’s likely run for mayor in 2013 if she does not favor the legislation, several sources familiar with the strategy told The Post.
The plan was discussed by Martha Baker, a consultant to the coalition pushing legislation for mandatory paid sick days, during a national summit on the issue held last month in Washington, DC.
“They’re planning to leverage Quinn’s position as a prominent member of the LGBT community and get others in the community to put pressure on her to support paid sick leave,” according to a staffer from one of the nonprofit groups who attended the meeting.
“That was a sort of a threat that they were going to use to leverage the support of the community.”
Quinn’s likely opponents for mayor next year are supportive of the bill — which she shelved in 2010 — to force businesses with 20 or more workers to provide nine paid sick days a year. Companies with five to 19 employees would have to offer five days. Businesses with fewer than five workers would be exempt from the bill, under an amendment being crafted to try to win support for the measure.
The legislation has a veto-proof margin of council supporters, but Quinn has opposed it because, she says, it would hurt small-business owners already struggling in a weak economy.
Sources close to her said she would consider a compromise version of the bill.
On Monday, 177 business owners and leaders throughout the city penned a letter to Quinn, saying the measure would hurt their bottom line and slow job growth in the city.
Supporters of the bill point to a study showing a similar mandate in San Francisco did not hurt job growth, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control that concluded paid sick days lower workplace injuries.
But Michael Saltsman, a researcher at the Employment Policies Institute, which opposes the mandatory sick-pay bill, disagreed with supporters’ notion that paid sick time reduces job turnover.
He said a 2009 study by the Urban Institute on San Francisco’s sick-pay bill found that most employers said the measure did not lower turnover.
from The New York Post
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