Cuomo’s latest contemptible pander

‘Workers have rights!” Gov. Cuomo thundered during Wednesday’s debate as he all but promised to create a new employee entitlement, this time for bereavement leave.

The gov said he’s still deciding whether to OK the bill, which would give employees 12 weeks of paid leave after a close relative dies — with the cost supposedly covered by a new payroll deduction. His only concern, he said, is whether it “dovetails” with the state’s similar family-leave law.

The bill was sponsored by two lawmakers who’d lost children, and it’s easy to see how such a brutal experience will leave you needing time off. But it’s huge step from that fact to a law mandating nearly three months of paid time off.

It’s not just that some people are sure to take every day they’re entitled to, need it or not. It’s an unequal burden: “Who this really affects are the small employers who are being hit with another burden that’s difficult to manage,” explains Business Council spokesman Zach Hutchins.

Properly, the number of paid days off — for births as well as deaths — is a matter for bosses and employees, not lawmakers, to work out. As matters stand, most US businesses offer an average of four days of bereavement leave, a recent survey found.

Maybe some businesses can’t afford more. Maybe workers would rather not lose any more from their paychecks. With a primary just two weeks away, Cuomo couldn’t care less.

Fact is, New York’s habit of trying to dictate every detail of every business’s operation is a big part of why many companies avoid the state, and why so many young people move away to to find work.

An entitlement to paid time off doesn’t help much if you can’t actually land a job.

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