Mayor Nutter Vetoes Philly Sick Leave

Nutter says 'no' to employee paid sick leave legislation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed the paid sick leave bill that was passed by a narrow city council margin. Nutter said extending the benefit to new employees would be too costly to local business and could cost Philadelphia jobs.

    Mayor Michael Nutter has vetoed paid sick leave legislation.

    Nutter announced his decision on Tuesday, saying the bill's goal was laudable, but it would raise the cost of labor for most businesses.

    In a letter to City Council, Nutter said imposition of paid sick leave on local businesses would create a serious burden and would cost Philadelphia jobs.

    "Mandating employers to provide sick leave benefits to employees raises the cost of labor for businesses that do not already provide such benefits. Moreover, the bill imposes considerable administrative burdens on businesses, particularly small businesses that do not have sophisticated time-keeping systems in place," Nutter wrote.

    The bill was passed nearly two weeks ago by Philadelphia City Council by a vote of 9-8. Twelve votes would be needed to override a veto.

    It would have required businesses with five or more employees to provide paid sick days based on workers’ time on the job. Companies with more than 10 employees could have grant an hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to seven paid sick days per year.

    There are no federal legal requirements for paid sick leave.

    The bill was opposed by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, which is self-described as “the premier advocate of the region’s business community, representing members in 11 counties across three states,” (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware).

    Paid sick leave had support from a broad coalition of Philadelphia-area advocacy groups, including the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice, Women’s Way and Pathways, PA.

    "Mayor Nutter’s veto of paid sick leave legislation cannot be justified on moral, public health, or business grounds. All too often, workers must go to work ill because they can't afford to lose a day's pay when they are barely able to make ends meet and support their family," said Wayne MacManiman, 32BJ SEIU’s Mid-Atlantic Area Director.

    The final City Council meeting before the summer recess was last Thursday, so any consideration of a veto override would be delayed at least until September.