NY May Approve Paid Sick Leave Next Week Over COVID-19
by Dan Clark • Published on March 10, 2020 • 0 Comments
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaks to reporters Tuesday, March 10.
Credit: Dan Clark
Lawmakers in the state Assembly could approve a bill as early as next week that would provide paid sick leave to workers in New York in response to the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Heastie, D-Bronx, said Democrats have talked generally about the legislation, but haven’t worked out the details.
“We’ve talked about in gross terms of wanting to come up with something,” Heastie said. “I think the members want to come up with something. I think we just have to work out the details.”
When asked about timing, Heastie said lawmakers would move on a bill “hopefully early next week.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo first said last week that he wanted members of the state Legislature to approve a bill that would guarantee paid sick leave to individuals in New York in response to the coronavirus, which had tested positive in 173 individuals in the state as of Tuesday.
Whenever someone tests positive for the disease, they’re required to quarantine themselves. That means they’ll have to miss work, and without a guarantee of paid sick leave, they may miss out on wages as well.
Cuomo had initially proposed legislation in his executive budget address in January that would create a general mandate for paid sick leave in New York, but that was before COVID-19 hit the state. Now, Cuomo is pushing lawmakers to get the bill done as soon as possible.
“Their employer should pay them for the period and their job should be protected,” Cuomo said last week. “And I am going to make that amendment to the paid sick leave bill that I sent up.”