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Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, activists hold signs during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, activists hold signs during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, Emilio Palaguachi, center, speaks during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, Emilio Palaguachi, right, speaks during a rally in New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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NEW YORK (AP) — An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to a cause that has scored victories but also hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave.

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. It’s 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.

Associated Press

Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, activists hold signs during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, activists hold signs during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, Emilio Palaguachi, center, speaks during a rally at New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, Emilio Palaguachi, right, speaks during a rally in New York’s City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

NEW YORK (AP) — An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to a cause that has scored victories but also hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave.

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. It’s 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.

Associated Press


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