Councilman William K. Greenlee is ready to take another crack at a bill requiring mandatory paid sick leave for workers in Philadelphia.
Council passed a paid sick leave bill – a cause championed by some unions and other advocacy groups – in 2011. Mayor Nutter vetoed the bill, taking the side of business owners who lamented the cost and feared workers would abuse sick days as unscheduled, paid vacation time.
The battle lines were drawn most starkly between restaurant owners and servers. Restaurant trade associations are gathering their supporters to fight the bill a second time.
Proponents of the bill describe paid sick leave as an issue of basic fairness, as well as a public health matter that would allow sick people to stay home without losing pay. There are more than 38,000 health care workers and more than 36,000 hotel and restaurant workers in the city who do not have paid sick leave, according to Council figures.
Greenlee plans to introduce the bill on Thursday, at Council’s first meeting of the year. In 2011, the bill passed 9-8 amidst the last-minute horse-trading of budget time. There was not enough support on Council to override Nutter’s veto.
Six Council members from that vote have since retired or been defeated at the polls.
Council President Darrell L. Clarke was a co-sponsor of the bill last time, when he was Majority Whip. He will be joining Greenlee and other paid sick leave proponents to discuss the bill before Thursday’s meeting.
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