With a swell of support from a coalition of workers, advocates, businesses and lawmakers, a proposal for a citywide earned paid sick days standard was introduced in the Philadelphia City Council today. In 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed a similar proposal arguing that it wasn’t the right time.* Nearly two years later, in the midst of a flu outbreak that has many thinking about public health, the Philadelphia paid sick days coalition is making clear that now is.
As Councilmember and champion of the proposal Bill Greenlee explained: “[T]he places where flu can be spread the most — restaurants, health care facilities, the hospitality industry — is where most people don’t have paid sick leave.” Sadly, he couldn’t be more right.
But it’s not just the flu outbreak that makes now the time for paid sick days in Philadelphia. More than 210,000 working people in the city still can’t earn a single paid sick day. The proposal now has strong support inside and outside of the City Council. And the coalition of workers, advocates and businesses is more energized than ever.
A hearing on the bill is expected in coming months. Now more than ever, it’s time for a paid sick days standard in Philadelphia and across the country. Stay tuned for more on how to support the campaign.
* The Council later passed — and the mayor did not veto — a bill requiring contractors with the city to allow their employees on city projects to earn paid sick days.