An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to a cause that has scored victories but also hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave.
Supporters and opponents are particularly watching a debate over a paid sick time proposal in New York City.
Dozens of doctors, nurses, lawmakers and activists pointed to the flu outbreak as they rallied Friday on the City Hall steps for passage of the measure. It's awaited a City Council vote for nearly three years.
San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut have such laws.
Advocates see paid sick time as a workforce issue and a public health priority.
But some business owners say it's an impractical and unfair burden for small businesses. Critics also say the timing is bad, given the shaky economy and the damage done to businesses by Superstorm Sandy.