Proponents of a requirement for employers to provide paid sick leave in New York City come in all shapes and sizes. But for one day, they came as giant germs.
During rush hour on Monday, October 27, Gail Brewer, a member of the City Council who is a co-sponsor of the Paid Sick Time Act, and supporters dressed as germs passed out fliers and postcards at subway stations asking citizens to support the bill at a public hearing November 17.
Later, Brewer gave a speech at a rally to support the bill at Union Square, saying that over 1 million New Yorkers do not have paid sick days and warning of the public health risks if employees with swine flu (H1N1) go to work sick because they will not get paid if they stay home. According to The New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg, just re-elected, has given qualified support to the sick leave ordinance but has concerns about how it could impact small businesses.
Brewer also acted as of the “Germ Judges” for the costume contest in the categories of “Most Contagious” and “Best Newly Discovered” Germs. Members of the press were given free face masks to “protect” them.
Congress is also considering legislation that would require paid sick leave. Earlier this month, U.S. Representative George Miller of California introduced legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to an employee if the employer tells the employee to leave work or stay home because he or she has symptoms of a contagious illness, such as H1N1 flu.
Sources: Family Values at Work Blog and New York Times Blog