Working while dying — NYPD employee with 9/11-related cancer forced to work after exhausting her sick days

NYPD civilian worker Linda Mercer of the NYPD Traffic Enforcement Division is dying of World Trade Center-related breast cancer that has spread to her liver and become inoperable. But she still goes to work, as her sick time has run out.

Civilian employees in the city like Linda are ineligible for unlimited sick leave. Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law last year that grants unlimited paid sick leave to those state employees suffering from 9/11-related illnesses. That law excludes New York City workers.

Roughly 4,000 city workers are in the same predicament as Ms. Mercer. They are waiting for City Hall to act, reports Thomas Tracy for the New York Daily News.

Ms. Mercer’s duties involved truck enforcement, checking the city’s trucks for violations. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, she weighed and secured the debris-laden trucks en route from the World Trade Center site to the search center at Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill.

She did not qualify for a mask.

City Hall spokesman Raul Contreras said, “Everyone who responded to 9/11 and its aftermath is a hero, which is why we’re working with unions to come up with a solution that will provide these heroes with the paid sick leave they deserve. We expect to have a solution soon.”

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