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Controversy Over Paid Sick Leave

The Utica city chamber of commerce is putting up a fight over mandatory paid sick leave and they have the support of many local businesses. The workers who this impacts find that very confusing, because getting sick is a part of life and can’t be avoided.

The Utica city chamber of commerce is putting up a fight over mandatory paid sick leave and they have the support of many local businesses.

The workers who this impacts find that very confusing, because getting sick is a part of life and can’t be avoided.

"It’s almost a given that you're going to get sick at work because there are so many sick people," said worker Megan Ruskey.

"Being at work when you’re sick is hard, because it’s hard to function," said worker Travis Eddington.

The sick leave act by the state would make all businesses provide paid sick leave to their workers.

The point of contention for the chamber of commerce is that they say it makes doing home grown business in Utica more difficult.

"The sick leave act really in our minds does raise the cost of doing business," said the executive director of the greater Utica Chamber of Commerce Pamela Matt.

Some business owners like the owner of New York Sash don’t have a problem with giving their workers paid sick leave. What they do have a problem with is the fact that it would be made mandatory.

 "To have the state come in and say that we have to do it. I feel that they're over stepping their boundaries. It’s just another mandate on small business and its makes it more difficult to conduct business in New York state," said New York Sash owner Scot Hayes.

Scot says that if paid sick leave is important to workers that they should apply for jobs that already to that.

That’s not much consolation to people who are trying to make ends meat.

“It’s a horrible feeling wondering if you're going to be able to pay your bills, so if you're not working to have paid sick leave it’s nice to know you can get sick and you'll still be covered," said  Ruskey.

The business owners I talked to today said that they just want to be left alone to be able to take care of their employees in the ways they see fit.

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