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Businesses Leaders Support NY Governor’s Plan for Paid Family Leave, Note No Costs for Employers in Proposal

For Immediate Release: 
February 22, 2016
Contact Info
Bob Keener

NEW YORK, NY (February 22, 2016) —Today, business leaders in NY State expressed support for Governor Cuomo’s paid leave proposal contained in the 30-Day Budget Amendments. The proposal will guarantee all private sector workers a benefit currently available to only about 12% of workers in the state and will cost employers nothing. The proposal will be funded entirely by small deductions from employees’ paychecks. The business leaders believe the benefit is important for the state’s economy and call on the legislature to pass the proposal.

"The American Sustainable Business Council, with members across the state of New York, proudly supports the paid leave bill,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, which has a member network spanning more than 200,000 businesses. “Many of our New York members like EILEEN FISHER, UncommonGoods, and Manufacture NY, already provide paid leave because they know it is the smart business decision. Paid leave leads to more productive employees and a stronger bottom line. We applaud the governor's support and hope to see this bill passed," he said.

Lou Gordon, Director of the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY), said, “More than ever, employment practices are out of pace with working families. Today the majority of parents of young children both men and women, work. Trends show that these working families are also increasingly responsible for elderly or disabled relatives. Without a paid family leave policy, young parents often feel forced to return to work before their children are ready to be without a parent. The Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) supports passage of paid family leave for New Yorkers. “  

Frank Garcia, Chairman, NY S Coalition and newly elected Chair of the National Association of Latino State Chamber of Commerce, said, “Many of our businesses already provide paid leave programs because they understand the importance and value of taking care of their employees. We represent small businesses in communities throughout the state. Passing paid leave is part of the changes they want to see. We also want to thank the governor for his support of this bill and his commitment to support minority-owned business, a back bone of the NYS economy.”

Julio Pabón, a local entrepreneur who is currently in the running for the New York City Council District 17 seat in the Bronx, said, "I have had two personal experiences that forced me to decide between the safety of a job and being with a parent or my wife when I needed to be with them. On both occasions, I chose to be with my family. It is unfair to have any employee chose between a job and a family member. Both of those experiences made me dislike my place of employment and made me less productive until I eventually left."

Bishop Dr. Ebony Kirkland, President of the Bronx Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Paid Family Medical Leave initiative is a common sense solution in assisting both family and businesses in developing good while fostering sustainable productivity in the work place."   

Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a proposal for a statewide mandatory paid family leave program. The plan would be paid for entirely by small deductions from employees' paychecks. The portion of their salaries that employees receive while on leave is financed through these deductions, not through the employer. Currently, few businesses can afford to offer paid family leave. The employee-funded proposal allows small businesses to provide the benefit that many of them could not previously afford. In addition, the proposed paid family leave program will be built onto New York's existing Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) system, which has been in place since 1950 and applies to nearly all employers in the state. New York employers have an existing model of how the paid family leave program will work, and the plan will not create additional administrative burdens for businesses in the state.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.