Council Member Treyger Calls For Paid Sick Leave For Private & Public Employees Who Can’t Get COVID-19 Tests

Council Member Treyger Calls For Paid Sick Leave For Private & Public Employees Who Can’t Get COVID-19 Tests
Mark Treyger. (Photo: Zainab Iqbal/Bklyner)

BROOKLYN – Council Member Mark Treyger is calling on the City to provide public and private employees with at least two weeks of paid sick leave for anyone who’s believed to be sick with the coronavirus.

This morning, Treyger sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying the following:

“Please issue an executive order that would ensure paid sick leave for all city workers and private employees believed to be ill from COVID-19. This important measure must be applied to all, even if workers do not have a positive test.

I am currently working on legislation that would require a City plan to ensure paid sick leave for sick workers unable to get tested for COVID-19. However, legislation can take months, and because this is urgent, I’m asking you to act through an executive order.

Paid leave should be at least 14 days, and more if needed. No one should have to work if they were ill.

We must protect our workers. Currently, tests are being provided only for those who are hospitalized. But we know that possibly hundreds of thousands of people are infected and they are unable to get tested. We must have paid sick leave for those who are sick, but unable to secure a test.”

Treyger believes this is both an economic and a public health emergency. He told Bklyner that employees who were staying at home while sick were given a hard time by their employers due to lack of “proof”.

“I spoke with one constituent who is a single mother and was sick with symptoms of coronavirus and could not get a test. Her employer requested proof of a positive COVID-19 test in order to grant her paid sick leave. She is still fighting to receive paid sick leave,” he said.

“The Mayor claims to champion this issue of paid sick leave and needs to rectify it immediately by issuing an executive order mandating all sick employees with coronavirus have at least 14 days of paid sick leave,” he continued. “If we are asking people to stay home, and especially if they are ill, we need to ensure they have the benefits to get better and not worry if they’ll still have a job once they recover.”