What's this really about?

February 2011: Last words from Hoboken's Blockbuster at 412 Washington St. 
photo: Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal

Yesterday, Horsey broke the news about proposed legislation on deck tonight at the City Council that will impact every business in the city of Hoboken.

That's right, every business.

In short, tonight's resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Beth Mason and co-sponsored by Terry Castellano proposes an ordinance requiring all Hoboken businesses with 10 or more employees to provide paid employee sick leave, and those with less than 10 employees to accrue sick time which may be compensated.

 page 135: excerpt of Mason-Castellano proposed Ordinance 

And what is the process for taking paid or unpaid sick time?  

page 139:   Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance

How do employees settle disputes with employers over the new sick time policy?

Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("Department") or the "any Court of competent jurisdiction."

page 142:   Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance

Do you smell a stunt?

This legislation was not written to succeed; it was meant to adorn a bumper sticker or resume for higher office, perhaps even impress a gubernatorial candidate.  It is pure populist rhetoric, with no thought to the economic  impact on the small business community and overall economic impact on the City of Hoboken.

A serious piece of legislation would have been preceded by studying the economic impacts on small businesses and dialogue with the business community.  This is overtly lop-sided legislation, punitive to Hoboken's business community, forcing compliance under threat of federal intervention, without addressing the economic impacts on our small business community.

Have Mason-Castellano proposed a way for businesses to offset the added cost of their proposal, perhaps with a tax break?   Of course not.

It was only a few short years ago, Dark Side politicos were bemoaning empty storefronts on Washington Street, and dumping fault for the struggling business climate on the Mayor.   On March 25, 2011, Dark Side politico Mike Novak told the Wall Street Journal:

For the past few years, the partisan overtones of Hoboken's struggle to attract business to Hoboken were inescapable. Many of those empty storefronts now have tenants. The City is now proposing a redesign and upgrade to Washington Street aimed at boosting the small business community, which needs 'bi-partisan' support (six votes) to pass.

Hence, it is curious timing to drop this resolution which adds hardship to small businesses in Hoboken, without proposing relief to offset added costs. 

At the end of the day, increasing costs of running a business are passed on to the consumer, one way or another.

2015 can't come soon enough.


  1. "I need more information."

    "It's all cleared up."

  2. In what state does any city council person have the authority to dictate changes in labor law? Oh yes, the state of hysteria, the state of denial, the state of despair, the state of decay, the state of insanity, the state of comatose.

    Only one year, one month, three days, three hours, twenty-one minutes and thirty seconds and Mason is history!

  3. Very disappointed in GA and Da Horsey in showing absolutely no sympathy or insight into the struggles of the working class. Hoboken is SERVICE INDUSTRY TOWN for high income earners who don't clean, cook or do their own laundry (or their nails).

    Batsh*t and Turdy are up to no good, but I am disgusted that our utter distaste for those two is clouding the fact that this benefits all those folks whose job is it to SERVE the middle class of Hoboken.

    A better headline would have been: Beth and Terry: Helping themselves by "helping" workers (and rounding up votes among residents in affordable and low income housing...you know the very people who probably need sick days and benefits)

    It is a total conservative piece of red meat to claim that providing benefits for working people kills business and you all took the bait.

    Also, did anyone really bother to do the math? How many businesses in town have more than 10 employees? And what is the actual cost?

    10 employees making minimum wage get 5 sick days each at 7 hours: $2887 per year (10*5*7*8.25).

    I doubt 3K annually could sink or destroy a $ucce$$ful business. If it does, that business was gonna fail anyway. FYI: Businesses in this town fail because of ridiculous rents, not because the service workers are overpaid or comprehensive benefits.

    1. For starters your $3K number is highly suspect. It only applies to businesses that pay minimum wage. Plenty of businesses in town (like gas stations, retailers, dry cleaners, QSRs that do not have tipping) pay well above that amount. Second of all, the people that are supposed to do the math are the very same people that proposed the legislation. They didn't because this is a blatantly obvious political stunt. And thirdly, part time workers are perfectly capable of swapping shifts with coworkers if they can't show up for shift because they are legitimately sick. We don't need legislation transferring money from the pockets of business owners to workers especially when you just pointed out that other problems (like rent and the cost of health insurance) are already putting businesses out of business. Enough with the business unfriendly policies already!

    2. Even if a business is paying well - let's say $20/hour - that ends up being $8K of sick pay annually. Still shouldn't be a deal breaker for a well run business. It's not that much to ask for 5 days of sick pay!

    3. QJ201 - one can debate the merits of providing paid sick time, but that's not the objective of Mason and Castellano's attempts to insinuate their imagined powers into state labor law. Instead of being upset that people seem unsupportive of this, you should be angry with the nefarious plans of these two, which includes exploiting the workers for their own gain.

      Remember, if Beth had her way, our hospital employees wouldn't need paid sick time as they'd all be unemployed. If Mason's own employees at her home or "Mason Civic" ever come forward with their tales, you will learn a great deal about how she sees those who work for her.

  4. If the $$ is really so small the legislation is even more ridiculous. Using intrusive government to transfer pennies around is not only overreach its stupid useless overreach that doesn't actually help anyone in any meaningful way.

  5. QJ201, I don't believe endorsing non-serious, crap legislation- a stunt- that exploits the struggling working class is sympathetic (or insightful) to the struggles of the working class. If Mason and Castellano gave a rat's ass about the working class, they would not have tried to kill 1,200 jobs along with the hospital sale in 2011 and bankrupt the City killing (municipal) jobs.

    My post addressed the merits of this legislation; not a treatise on paid sick days for the struggling working class.


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