Proposal would require all Albany County businesses to provide paid sick leave

Local

If you work in Albany County and don’t get paid sick days, a new proposal could change that.

Owning a restaurant at Empire Plaza Food Court means long hours in the kitchen for Danielle Davis. With just three employees, she says providing them paid sick leave would put her out of business.

“Someone who decided it’s too nice of a day out to come to work, I’m going to have to pay them because they called and said they’re sick, that would literally cripple me.”

The proposed law that would allow employees to accrue at least one hour of sick time per 30 hours worked. Right now, many employees in the food and service industries, have to make go to work sick, or lose a day’s pay.  

“It’s not fair, that’s a crime. In my eyes it should be a crime,” Anne Pope, with the NAACP, said.

Pope says paid sick leave benefits both employer and employee.

“Maybe they have the flu, then they will carry their germs in and spread those germs.”

President of the Capital Region Chamber Mark Eagan says forcing private companies to provide paid leave puts Albany County at a disadvantage.

“Should government really be the one to dictate this particularly where the capital region is truly a regional economy,” Eagan said.

Right now, New York City is the only region in the state that mandates paid leave. Eagan says it would only be fair if the law is enforced on a federal level. 

“Their intention is right, it would be great if everyone could have paid time off.”

Back at the Dutch Pot, Davis is worried about the future of her young business.  

“I would have to close, I’m not gonna lie,” Davis said.

Pope has this message for business owners.

“You want to keep all of the money and the profit for yourself, I say give some of it up.”

Business owners plan to speak out against the proposal tonight, calling it misguided. It would require all employers in the county to give paid sick days to their workers.

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