- Last Updated: 11:45 PM, August 5, 2012
- Posted: August 06, 2012
Just what does New York’s City Council have against businesses — and jobs?
Not content with having passed two truly awful laws recently that regulate certain private-sector wages — and materially worsen the city’s image as a place to do business — council members are now renewing their drive to force employers to offer paid sick leave.
They won’t be happy, it seems, until every last business shuts down or flees the city for friendlier climes — taking every last job with them.
Council Speaker Chris Quinn, to her credit, has so far resisted the effort to burden businesses with another costly mandate. With the economy still teetering precariously, this is not the time to saddle companies with new costs, she argues.
She’s right. Question is, will she ultimately be overcome by labor and council members — some 36 of 50 of whom reportedly back a sick-leave mandate — and allow a sick-leave bill to become law?
The destructive potential of such a heavy-handed diktat should be clear. Remember, it won’t be the large, established, well-financed firms — which often already offer workers sick leave — that get hurt.
A survey by the Partnership for New York City shows that 95 percent of workers at large businesses in the city already get sick time.
And overall, some 77 percent are entitled to paid sick-leave benefits through their jobs — compared favorably to the 62 percent figure nationally.
No, it’ll be companies that are struggling — those that have determined for themselves that they can’t afford such a pricey perk — that bear the brunt of the council’s misfire.
Small businesses — about half of which are immigrant-owned — would be socked, forced to curb jobs, shorten hours or maybe close down altogether.
It’s a death knell for neighborhoods already on the ropes.
That’s not just talk — it’s what the employers themselves say, as the Partnership survey showed.
And don’t think the council members, bought off by labor unions that are pushing the bill, would rest there. If a sick-leave bill passes, it will mark the third major recent win for Big Labor in the city, after the council passed “prevailing-wage” and “living-wage” laws that restrict pay rates at private firms that get city money. Their appetites will only grow.
Mayor Bloomberg has gone to court to overturn those two laws. But the barrage of anti-business legislation from the council may already be doing damage.
It’s up to Speaker Quinn (who’s expected to run for mayor herself next year) to get her members in line — and make sure this bill never sees the light of day.Follow @NYPostOpinion