Melvin’s Musings: Paid Sick Days

Posted by Darrah Sipe 0 Comments

RAP member Melvin Jefferson is starting a periodic blog series on issues affecting retail workers. He will chronicle RAP members’ efforts to improve conditions in their stores and across the industry. Check out his first post below!

The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, recently enacted paid sick days legislation that expanded the right to take paid time off to more New Yorkers, including 1.2 million workers did not have any prior access to paid sick days. The law went into effect on April 1, 2014. It is one of several reforms aimed at raising the wage and benefit floor for more New Yorkers and reducing income inequality.

Some facts on paid sick days in NYC:

  • Earned paid sick days ensure that you’ll still have a job after taking leave for personal issues.
  • The law affects folks across industries! You are eligible if you work at a company that employees more than five workers.
  • If you’re a part-time worker, you can get paid sick days too!
  • For every 30 hours you work, you accrue one hour of paid time off.
  • There’s no need for you to acquire a medical letter unless you’re out more than three days.
  • Any paid time off currently offered by your employer can count as paid sick days as long as the time can be used in the same way required by the law.

Retail Action Project members Jerome Murray and Akaisa O’Kieffe were present at the bill signing on March 20th as guest witnesses when Bill de Blasio made it possible for millions of working New Yorkers to take care of themselves when they’re sick. No parent will have to choose between caring for a child and putting food on the table. Expanding the Earned Sick Time Act was the right thing to do!

Jerome and Akaisa at PSD press conference

RAP members Jerome Murray and Akaisa O’Kieffe (both far right) attend the signing of the paid sick days bill on March 20, 2014.

RAP has been a major supporter of the bill since it was first introduced. As retail workers, we believe that we are valued employees who should be recognized as human beings and shouldn‘t be penalized for rare but serious instances. Sometimes something I like to call life happens!

- Melvin Jefferson

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