Sick day pay, out in the cold
New York City workers continued to press City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on legislation that would grant five paid sick days per year to more than a million mostly low-wage workers. “I don’t want what happened to me to happen to any other worker,” deli worker Emilio Palaguachi said at a January 31, 2013 rally outside the deli where he used to work. He described being fired for taking a day off while he had the flu. “I was miserable and did not want to contaminate my coworkers or the customers, since my job was making sandwiches,” Palaguachi explained. The sick leave bill has support from 37 of 51 Council members: if it is brought to a vote it is certain to pass.
Lawsuit: Time for Sanitation Dept. to trash racism
Denouncing a “plantation mentality” at the Department of Sanitation, 11 black and Hispanic employees filed suit against the City February 12, 2013. The plaintiffs allege they have been denied promotions and forced to work in a hostile racial environment. The lawsuit charges that while 55% of street-level Sanitation workers are black or Hispanic, no more than 5% of top supervisors are people of color. “It’s about who you know and what color your skin is,” plaintiff Adrenia Burgis, a veteran black employee, told the Daily News.