“This meeting is about us and try to put together some important thinking about what’s happening in New York City and where we are going,” said Arthur Rosenfield, chamber president. “We are going through a massive change in government.”
Vallone discussed his stance on a few controversial pieces of legislation he feels will hurt small business owners in Queens, something he told the members of the chamber he can relate to because he has written pay stubs.
Recently, a deal the City Council and the city's labor unions could result in passage of a bill that would make it mandatory for business with 15 employees or more to allow them five paid sick days, which Vallone said would hurt small businesses.
Another proposed piece of legislation would make it illegal to discriminate against currently unemployed job applicants in the hiring process.
“If you don’t hire someone that’s unemployed the next day they can have you before the Human Rights Commission,” Vallone said. “Are you going to take a day off to go to the Human Rights Commission?”
Vallone said that for the most part people looking for a job are unemployed anyway, but he doesn’t believe that a small business owner should have to prove they aren’t discriminating based on previous or current employment status.
Vallone also takes issue with a piece of legislation that would make it impossible for a business owner to check the credit history of a job applicant.
“First they don’t want us looking at employment history, now they don’t want us to look at credit checks?” said Vallone. “What’s next? We can’t look at their criminal background either? Keep your hands off our businesses.”