New York could be the first U.S. city to demand paid personal time

New York City is one step closer to requiring all employees in the city get paid vacation or personal time.

Back in January, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams proposed an expansion to the already in place Earned Wage and Sick Time law. The added paragraph to the law, also expected to be renamed, would require employers with more than 5 employees to give their employees one hour of personal or vacation time for every 30 hours worked. That could add up to a maximum of 80 hours or 10 days of paid personal days each calendar year.

Proponents of the proposed legislation believe this would finally get the U.S. in line with many other countries around the world.

Countries in the European Union, for example, all guarantee workers at least four weeks of paid vacation.

Our neighbor to the north, Canada, has a 10 day PTO mandate. Even Japan, considered a workaholic country, has a 10 day mandate as well.

Currently, the U.S. is the only advanced economy that does not have a federal mandate for paid vacation, and New York City’s law — if passed — would be a first of its kind in the country.

However, not everyone is hoping this law, or expansion of an existing one, will pass. Some are concerned with the potential payroll cost to businesses, and one cost that is clearly outlined in the proposal is penalties.

Penalties under the proposed legislation range from $500-$15,000 per employee denied paid vacation.

Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Jumaane Williams, Gloria Steinem and more spoke Tuesday at rally in favor of the legislation:

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