5 Boro Chamber Alliance Formed to Oppose Mandated Paid Sick Time

Thursday, September 10, 2009


5 Boro Chamber Alliance Formed to Oppose Mandated Paid Sick Time 
NYC Business Community: Well intentioned bill will ultimately hurt the workers it seeks to help
The Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island Chambers of Commerce have formed the 5 Boro Chamber Alliance in response to concerns common among its collective membership of over 5,000 businesses across New York City. 
The 5 Boro Chamber Alliance affirms its opposition to Intro No 1059 – Provision of Paid Sick Time Earned by Employees that will mandate businesses, regardless of size – to provide paid sick time.  Businesses with 10 or less employees will be required to provide five days of sick time to all employees and businesses with 10 or more employees will be required to provide nine days sick time for all employees.  Businesses found in violation will be subject to $1,000 fine for each infraction. 
 “We have come together as the 5 Boro Chamber Alliance to address the many issues that affect our collective membership.  Intro No 1059 is yet another example of a well-intentioned bill that carries the unintended consequence of hurting the very workers it seeks to help,” said Carl Hum, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the 5 Boro Chamber Alliance.  “The government-mandated burden of providing paid sick leave to all employees could lead some businesses to re-think hiring plans or even worse, lay off workers as the burden becomes too much to bear, especially in this worrisome economy.” 
The 5 Boro Chamber Alliance maintains, the business community needs as much flexibility as possible to weather the current economic climate – particularly if the small business community is being relied upon as the engine to guide our region out of the recession and into recovery as it traditionally has.
“Government is often quick to impose mandates but offer no help in meeting the new guidelines.  Like many small businesses, I pay my employees for sick time but I don’t believe government should impose that requirement on businesses,” said Gil Cygler of All-Car, a Brooklyn-based car rental company.  To have the government impose more mandates will make my business and others reconsider when it comes to hiring another employee, or worse, whether to reduce our workforce to pay for these new mandates.” 
“As a small business owner who already provides employees with paid sick time, I believe this is just another legislative handcuff,” said Tom Scarangello of SCARAN, a family-owned heating and air-conditioning company based in Staten Island. “It’s as if the City Council doesn’t understand that we are trying to survive the worst economic downturn in 80 years.”  
 “Many employers already provide benefits including paid personal days.  The cost of this bill is prohibitive and will require small businesses to cut back on benefits already in place,” said Robert Schwartz, CEO of Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises, Inc based in Manhattan.
Leticia Theodore-Greene, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce – (718) 943-3889
Lenny Caro, Bronx Chamber of Commerce – (718) 828-3900
Nancy Ploeger, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce – (212) 473-7875
Jack Friedman, Queens Chamber of Commerce – (718) 898-8500
Linda Baran, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce – (718) 727-1900