Flu Season Fuels Debate Over Paid Sick Time Laws

NEW YORK (January 20, 2013)--An unusually early and vigorous flu season is focusing attention on mandatory paid sick leave, and supporters and opponents are particularly watching a debate over a paid sick time proposal in New York City.

Dozens of doctors, nurses, lawmakers and activists pointed to the flu outbreak as they rallied Friday on the City Hall steps for passage of the measure, which has awaited a City Council vote for nearly three years.

San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut have such laws.

Advocates see paid sick time as a workforce issue and a public health priority, but some business owners say it's an impractical and unfair burden for small businesses.

Critics also say the timing is bad, given the shaky economy and the damage done to businesses by Superstorm Sandy.

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