The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of small business owners who must prepare for an expansion of the city's paid-sick-days law.
Business executives were shocked last week that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito would unveil, without any public discussion, a new law that eliminates hard-fought exemptions meant to protect vulnerable enterprises.
While large firms have had a year to comply with the changes, small businesses will have only until April 1 to ready themselves for the expanded version of the law, whose passage by the City Council is now a mere formality. The proposed revision, to lower the threshold to firms with five or more employees, leaves retail shops and restaurants that pay by the hour scrambling to make financial arrangements to cover the unplanned expense...
In Manhattan alone, the expansion will hit more than 28,000 additional businesses that have between five and 20 employees, according to census data compiled by real estate firm Studley Inc.
The existing law, passed last spring, gives workers at least five days of paid time off per year. Its planned implementation in April had applied only to companies with at least 20 employees. Businesses with between 15 and 20 workers were given until 2015 to comply.
The deal announced last week eliminates those changes. It also does away with "economic trigger" language that would delay the legislation if the economy slumps. An exemption for the manufacturing sector will be removed, and grandparents, aunts and uncles will be added to the definition of family members allowed to take days off to care for sick children. The Department of Consumer Affairs will still be the enforcing agency, even though it currently lacks the capacity of a regulatory body.
In Manhattan alone, the expansion will hit more than 28,000 additional businesses that have between five and 20 employees, according to census data compiled by real estate firm Studley Inc.Sick-days expansion blindsides
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