Local/State

Paid sick leave petition delivered to Phila. City Council

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Proponents of the Earned Paid Sick Leave bill made the rounds at Philadelphia City Hall Wednesday with more than 60,000 signatures in hand.

City Councilman Bill Greenlee sponsored the bill. The bill passed City Council before, but Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed it.

Several big corporations and the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association are against it, saying it will hurt business.

"There's been a multitude of changes that were made all at the request of businesses," said Greenlee. "So it's not like it's my way or the highway."

As the bill stands now, the sick pay is earned. Businesses with 6-20 workers would have to provide four sick days. Larger businesses would have to provide seven. Mom and pop stores are exempt.

Greenlee says other cities with similar bills see it as a success.

"You have to earn that sick time," he said. "So I think that would make it less likely that you would use it in a manner other than what it's intended to be."

"It's just not good," said restaurant owner Mark O'Connor. "It's going to end up causing us to have more part timers and probably lay some people off."

O'Connor owns both of the city's Irish pubs and says prices could go up.

Currently, if an employee needs to call out sick they are able to swap shifts. It's a system O'Connor says works.

If the bill passes, he would have to anticipate employees calling out sick at the last minute.

"Consequently, we'll have to schedule more people up front," said O'Connor. "So we have to hire more employees. Tips will be diluted."

Mayor Nutter's spokesperson says he thinks the changes made to the bill are reasonable, but it is better suited for the state or federal level.

The mayor still thinks it will hurt or drive out city businesses.

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philadelphia, philadelphia city council, local/state
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