De Blasio/Viverito Push for Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Micro Businesses At Odds with Income Inequality Rhetoric

Mayor De Blasio and his hand-picked Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are set to put forth a plan to require 5 paid sick leaves for businesses as small as 5 employees. Is this bill necessary? Employers offer paid sick leave where they can. It is also a benefit that can attract employees. In most cases, if a person is sick, an employer allows him/her to stay out. Paid sick leave as a value other than being used for actual sick time is a collective bargaining chip left to union negotiations not small businesses. Start-ups may never get off the ground if they cannot afford paid sick leave as a right. The amount of hindrances to small businesses keeps growing, from health coverage requirements that grow expensive to paid sick leave. Those immediately harmed are the low to middle income or micro businesses. What about their ability to earn an income and take care of their families? What about providing the opportunity for businesses to grow so that it makes economic sense as well as public policy sense to provide for employees when they are ill? What about jobs lost?

Perhaps it is because the Mayor has not held a job outside of government, ran or worked for a small business, that he does not understand the error in this current iteration of paid sick leave legislation. Whatever the reason, this administration has started out taking direct hits at the soft, fragile middle class and small businesses of New York City. His very first pronouncement was to put horses out of work and worse the carriage drivers with feeble explanations that perhaps they can drive tin lizzies in the park. Next was his pronouncement that those making $500k or more per year (sorry again small businessperson) should be taxed to pay for universal pre-kindergarden, even though there is money in the budget to affect a solution without additional taxes; and now further interference in budding businesses with more social engineering legislation.

Such pronouncements are the order of this administration, which fails to see that by its own actions adversely effecting small businesses, it promotes a City where only larger businesses can thrive and smaller ones suffer or go out of existence. Who will be able to afford to live in this city? Who will create jobs in this city? You cannot ask those who have left or will be leaving the City to find a better climate for business, for jobs or for living. It may not be the best of times, and it may not be the worst of times- but we have seen them both and this is not looking good.

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