County lawmakers are set to pass a law as soon as next week that would require businesses with five or more employees to offer up to five paid sick days a year to their employees.
The law would require companies to provide at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Moreover, according to The Journal News/LoHud.com, the legislation says:
- Domestic workers earn one hour for every seven days worked.
- Sick time can be carried over if not used.
- Employers may delay the accrued sick time by 90 days.
- Employers may require proper documentation if an employee takes more than three sick days in a row.
On April 12, the Business Council of Westchester hosted a round-table discussion on the “Earned Sick Leave Bill.” Board of Legislators Chairman Benjamin Boykin and Legislators Catherine Borgia and Catherine Parker attended along with employers of various sizes, including nonprofit organizations.
During the discussion, many valid concerns were raised, including but not limited to the negative impact on small businesses; how not-for-profits would be affected; the added administrative burdens for small businesses and more.
Since the meeting, the board revised the proposed legislation, but even with those changes, the BCW raises the question – why is a Earned Sick Leave Law needed in Westchester? Because surely it will have unintended consequences.
“Westchester County prides itself in having a strong vibrant workforce. We have employers who are committed to their employees,” said John Ravitz, Executive Vice President/COO of The Business Council of Westchester, in a letter to the board. “Passing the Earned Paid Sick Leave legislation, which is a mandate and will have numerous unintended consequences to businesses daily, sends a message to employers, that in Westchester County, government will determine how they manage their workforce. Creating that type of environment will not help those of us who are serious about bringing permanent jobs to Westchester.”