Nutter Vetoes Paid Sick Leave Bill

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has struck down the City Council’s earned sick time bill.

The controversial "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” ordinance called for workers to earn paid sick leave passed in March. The measure wouldn't have affected companies with five or fewer employees but employers with six to 19 workers would have had to offer up to four paid sick days a year and up to seven days for larger employers.

Nutter vetoed the bill claiming, in a letter dated April 3 that was obtained by NBC10’s Daralene Jones, that the measure “would harm our ability to attract new businesses."

In a press release, bill sponsor Councilman At-Large Bill Greenlee called the veto a "disappointment" for approximately 180,000 workers -- many of them earning modest wages -- that would have benefited from enforced paid sick leave.

“This Administration claims to be about fairness for the little people and good public health for all. The smoking ban it instituted to protect workers and the public is a great example of that. Allowing workers to take care of themselves or a sick child without losing the ability to pay rent is also consistent with the Administration’s stated goals," he said.

Nutter has long opposed imposing paid sick leave on employers. Back in 2011, he also shot down a similar measure that would have required businesses with five or more employees to provide paid sick days. That measure never got to the 12 votes need to override the veto.

To override Nutter's veto, Greenlee must now get one of the six council members who voted against the bill to change sides on the issue. The councilman seems up for the fight.

“I am confident that by this time next week, workplace rules will become a little fairer for 180,000 hard-working Philadelphians and their families,” Greenlee said.

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