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Then candidate, now New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
When the New York City Council passed a paid sick leave law in 2013, it was a victory, but also a compromise. Now, one election later, with a new speaker and a new mayor, the Council is taking steps to uncompromise sick leave.

The new law gives workers the chance to earn paid sick leave if they work for businesses with five or more employees, down from 15 or more employees in the old compromise. It also drops an exemption for manufacturing businesses and expands the list of family members workers can take time off to care for.

“Under this law, thousands of hardworking New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between taking a sick day or earning a paycheck — and thousands of parents will no longer be forced to pick between caring for a sick child and earning enough to provide for them,” de Blasio said in a statement. “From waitresses and dish washers to store clerks and car wash workers, New Yorkers across the five boroughs will finally have legal protection to a basic right that so many of us take for granted each day — and employers will benefit from a stronger and healthier workforce.”

Combined with previous legislation, more than a half-million New Yorkers will now be entitled to take up to five sick days without fear of losing their job.

Elections matter, and New York City's last election was a big step forward.

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.

A fair day's wage

  • This is fascinating: It won't surprise you to learn that working people look forward to and are happiest during the weekend. It might surprise you a little more to learn that the same is true of unemployed people, but that's just what sociologists Cristobal Young and Chaeyoon Lim found. That's because on weekends, people get more time with family and friends:
    "Social contact is central to our sense of well-being," Young said. This, the authors find, is what explains much of the weekend happiness and the Monday blues. "People who spend weekends alone get very little of the boost in emotional well-being."

    Social time is also important to understanding unemployment, the study finds. People out of work spend most of their extra free time alone. Often, the time is spent doing household chores and watching daytime TV.

    "Weekends are a break from unemployment," Young said, "because on Saturday and Sunday, other people are available to spend time with."  [...]

    "Unemployment is psychologically devastating," said Young, whose previous research found that the emotional effect of job loss is comparable to losing one's home. "People feel a deep need to be able to account for their lives, and unemployment takes that away from them in a fundamental way."

    With such low levels of well-being, he noted that, "ironically, the jobless need a weekend experience much more than workers do."

  • Medical marijuana workers have the same rights as everyone else, feds say.
  • Inside the union-busting birth of the Academy Awards.
  • Excellent news:
    In a unanimous Tuesday vote, a Los Angeles City Council committee voted to authorize a study on nearly doubling the minimum wage for employees of large hotels in the nation’s second-largest city. The L.A. proposal is one of several municipal moves toward raising wages well above the 5-year-old federal rate of $7.25; at $15.37, it would set a local hotel industry wage floor far beyond the $10.10 proposed by congressional Democrats.
  • Do you know what 'salting' is? If you don't, and you're interested in workplace organizing, check it out.
  • Washington state restaurants already weathered an 85 percent minimum wage hike and apparently survived.
  • If you followed Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's dire predictions if Volkswagen workers unionized, you might appreciate this touch of irony.


Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:55 AM PST.

Also republished by New York City and Daily Kos.

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