Menin Details Paid Sick Leave Rollout, Inspection Reforms

Menin Details Paid Sick Leave Rollout, Inspection Reforms

Menin Details Paid Sick Leave Rollout, Inspection Reforms
July 15, 2014

New York City's newly enacted paid sick leave law goes into effect in two weeks, and Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin went on NY1's Inside City Hall to discuss how the city is getting the word out to small businesses.

"Starting on July 30, employees can start taking their accrued paid sick leave," Menin said. "So what we've been doing is we've had hundreds of events with small business owners, with clergy, with community groups, making sure we're getting the word out about paid sick leave."

She added that the city has sent mailers to over 400,000 small businesses and that there will be an online application for small business owners to track paid sick leave for their employees, which she said would be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

Menin was also asked about some of the reforms she has instituted at DCA to loosen onerous regulations on small businesses. Menin said that Mayor Bill de Blasio has made it a top priority "to make sure that we are not generating city revenue on the backs of small businesses." She said that "picayune" first-time minor violations, such as incorrect signage, would not result in an immediate fine; rather the business owner would have a chance to cure the violation. Menin cautioned, however, that this greater leniency did not mean the agency would be cavalier in regulating more serious violations.

"Let me be very clear, we are going to be resolute about consumer protection. If you're a repeat violator, you will be fined. If you're selling expired medicine, you will be fined. If you're selling tobacco to minors, you will be fined," Menin said.

In addition to the new small business regulations, Menin mentioned that the agency would also be conducting inspections of small businesses in their language of choice, an important feature for the city's immigrant communities, as well as using an online mapping tool to make sure that each neighborhood in the city is being inspected in an equitable fashion.

Under these reforms, Menin said the city anticipates a $5 million decrease in revenue from small business fines.

Nick Powell