FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Council Positions Philadelphia to Become Fourth U.S. City to Pass a Paid Sick Days Law; Mayor Nutter will Decide Fate of Family Friendly Measure that is Vitally Important to Public Health
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 16, 2011 — "Less than two weeks after Connecticut’s legislature approved the first statewide paid sick days law in the nation, the Philadelphia City Council has passed a bill that would guarantee most workers in the city the right to earn paid sick days. Philadelphia now joins San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Milwaukee as the fourth city in the nation in which a paid sick days standard has passed — but the fate of this measure lies in Mayor Nutter’s hands.
On behalf of workers in Philadelphia who urgently need to be able to take time away from work when they are injured or ill, or when a sick child needs care, we urge Mayor Nutter to support this bill. More than 210,000 workers in Philadelphia have no paid sick days. Every time illness strikes, these workers are forced to choose between going to work sick and spreading contagion to their co-workers and the public, or staying home and losing critical income. Parents are forced to leave sick children at home alone or send them to school or daycare to infect other children.
The bill now on Mayor Nutter’s desk can change all that, so no Philadelphia worker has to choose between health and economic security. We urge the Mayor to take this historic opportunity to stand with working families. Paid sick days are working well in cities like San Francisco and the District of Columbia, and they will work well in Philadelphia.
We applaud every member of the City Council who voted in support of this bill today, along with the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces and the workers and allies whose commitment to a basic paid sick days standard has gotten Philadelphia this far. We urge Mayor Nutter to do the right thing and secure this victory for working families in Philadelphia."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.