Sign or Veto Philly Paid Sick Leave?

Bill reached Mayor’s desk with one-vote margin, business community opposition

The ball is in Mayor Michael Nutter’s court on the fate of the city’s paid sick leave legislation.

The bill was passed last week by Philadelphia City Council by a vote of 9-8. Twelve votes would be needed to override a veto.

If enacted, businesses with five or more employees would be required to provide paid sick days based on workers’ time on the job. Companies with more than 10 employees could 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’s passage brought a response on Monday from 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).

The GPCC statement said in part:

“By passing mandated paid sick leave legislation, City Council voted to provide a level of employee benefit that simply does not exist in the cities and states we compete with. We urge Mayor Nutter to veto this bill.”

The opposite business perspective was offered in an op-ed in Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cathy Mangini wrote that she is a Philadelphia small-business owner who supports paid sick leave and she called on the mayor to sign the legislation. Mangini said she and her father own Teri’s diner and bar in the Italian Market, and they have 12 employees.

“Our sick-time policy is one way we show our employees and customers that we value a happy, healthy place to dine and work. When Teri's employees get sick -- as we all do from time to time -- they can take a day off to get better without worrying about losing wages or not being able to pay their bills.”

Paid sick leave also 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.

Supporters argued that among the estimated 40 percent of hourly-wage workers in Philadelphia with no sick days, many are concentrated in fields like food preparation and child care.

Mayor Nutter could sign the paid sick leave legislation, veto it, or let the measure become law without his signature.

The final City Council meeting before the scheduled summer recess is Thursday. A veto or leaving the bill unsigned could leave its fate unsettled until sometime in September.

Contact Us