NEW YORK Small business owners rallied on the steps of City Hall  Tuesday to voice their opposition to a measure mandating paid sick leave for  employees in New York City, one of several states and municipalities across the  country weighing such legislation.

Employers argue that paid sick leave would increase operating expenses and  further hamstring businesses already struggling in the down economy, leading to  reduced economic and job growth.

If the measure passes, New York would become the third city behind San  Francisco and Washington, D.C., to require businesses to offer paid sick leave  to employees. Similar measures have been introduced in 15 states, including  Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine and Ohio, although none have passed into law. At  the federal level, the Healthy Families Act, which would provide up to seven  days of paid sick leave, was introduced earlier this year in the House and  Senate, and has garnered support from President Obama.

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Denver voters reject sick leave bill

Denver voters on Tuesday shot down a proposal to require employers to offer  paid sick leave after weeks of divisive debate that pitted business owners  against their workers.

Known as Initiative 300, the paid sick leave mandate was on a ballot  initiative on which 104,217 people voted. Of those, 36 percent, or 37,498 voters  said yes, while 64 percent, or 66,719, rejected the measure.

Read more: Nation’s Restaurant News

Related Story: Paid sick leave takes center stage in NYC