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Mayor de Blasio Aims to Guarantee All New Yorkers a Paid Vacation

New York City residents will have two weeks of guaranteed paid time off if city councilmembers pass a new proposal from Mayor Bill de Blasio. As the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein reported on Wednesday, the policy would make the city a national labor leader. Only Puerto Rico requires paid time off. “At least 20 countries — including New Zealand, Ireland and Greece — mandate at least 10 days of paid vacation, making the United States an outlier in not offering these benefits,” Stein wrote, adding, “Several states and cities have adopted mandatory paid sick leave since 2011 but not paid vacation.” Roughly 500,000 people would gain access to paid time off if the proposal becomes law.

De Blasio made the announcement one day after unveiling NYC Care, a new universal health-care program for the city’s low-income residents. If enacted, paid leave would certainly polish the mayor’s self-styled progressivism — and it would also make an immediate, significant difference in the lives of New York City workers. In 2018, the Center for Economic and Policy Research found a full quarter of American private-sector workers have no paid time off at all. Mexican workers, by way of contrast, are guaranteed at least six days of paid annual leave; British workers get 28.

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