MTA yanks paid sick time ads

A blitz of ads advocating for paid sick time are to hit the subways Monday, with the spots highlighting the risks of ailing New Yorkers schlepping to work and school.

One version of the ad, however, will not make it onto the trains because it was rejected by the MTA. The ad warns about the dangers of spreading sickness underground with the pitch: “You might catch more than the subway this morning.”

“Who is holding the pole with you in the subway?” said Nancy Rankin, of A Better Balance, an workplace advocacy group. “It matters when other folks don’t get paid sick days.”

An MTA spokesman could not say Sunday why the ad was turned away.

A coalition supporting paid sick time forked over $30,000 to run 1,000 ads across the subways for four weeks.

Nearly half of New Yorkers don’t have paid sick time, many of them working in restaurants and other sectors with frequent public contact, according to A Better Balance.

A bill being considered by the City Council next month would require businesses to provide at least five sick days. A majority of the council members have signed onto the legislation, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicated he would sign it.

But businesses are in uproar about the bill, saying it would seriously impact their bottom line.

“It would be a huge expense in the worse possible economic time,” said Robert Bookman, counsel to the New York State Restaurant Association.

San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee have mandated paid sick time.

hhaddon@am-ny.com

Tags: mta , subways , sick time

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