De Blasio to introduce proposal to guarantee paid time off

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is set to introduce a proposal on Wednesday to guarantee two weeks of paid time off for employees.

If passed, the measure would give guaranteed paid time off to an additional 500,000 people in New York City, The Washington Post reported.

“More than 500,000 hard-working men and women should earn paid personal time when they contribute to the success of their companies,” de Blasio said in an email, according to the newspaper. “Our city’s businesses will benefit from a more productive, healthier workforce.”

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“By putting workers first, New York City’s economy has never been stronger.”

The Post noted that the de Blasio's proposal would need to be approved by the Democratically controlled New York City Council.

The mayor’s office said the legislation would give paid leave to 200,000 people working in the hotel and food industries, as well as 180,000 workers in “professional and business services.” It would also grant paid leave to 90,000 employees in the retail industry.

The law wouldn’t apply to companies with fewer than five employees.

"We’re the only advanced economy on the planet that doesn’t guarantee its workers paid time off," de Blasio tweeted. 

 

The Post reported that firms in the city would be required to give at least two weeks off for full-time employees. They’d also be mandated to give paid time off to part-time employees.

New York City would become the first city to require paid time off if the proposal becomes law. No U.S. city or state has such a requirement for workers, according to the Post.

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, has a mandate requiring employers to pay for time off for their workers.

The announcement from de Blasio comes just a day after he announced an initiative to begin guaranteeing health care to city residents, regardless of their immigration status or their ability to pay. 

"Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice," he tweeted Tuesday. "Today I’m announcing a plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we’ll ensure the first stop for people isn’t the emergency room."