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Philadelphia Lawmaker Says He’ll Try Again For Broad Paid Sick Leave Law

(Philadelphia City Council members attend a roundtable discussion about paid sick leave legislation.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Philadelphia City Council members attend a roundtable discussion about paid sick leave legislation. Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia city councilman who tried without success last year to get a mandatory sick leave law passed in the city says he’ll try again next year.

City councilman-at-large Bill Greenlee in 2011 was able to get the full Council’s approval for citywide mandatory earned sick leave, but he failed to get enough votes to override Mayor Nutter’s veto (see related story).

Greenlee (far left in photo) tells KYW Newsradio that come 2013, he’ll take another stab at it.

“Absolutely.  We’re still talking to councilmembers, hoping that we can convince them.  I definitely plan on doing it.  We’re very hopeful that Philadelphia is going to join what is now a growing number of cities and states that have this law.”

Greenlee spoke at a roundtable on mandatory sick leave at which some local businesses owners who offer it voluntarily spoke of the benefits.

Lori Davis, of Porter’s Day Care in the city’s Logan section, said paid sick leave helps retain workers, which actually lowers costs:

“If you have some sort of small benefits package to keep your staff with you, you reduce your time and your money of training and rehiring,” she says.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in 2011 lobbied against the idea, saying it would put local firms at an economic disadvantage at a particularly tough time.

Marianne Bellasorte, of Pathways Pa., which sponsored the roundtable at City Hall, said the proposal would not cost companies much, as the sick leave would have to be earned.

“What we’re talking about is a very low number, about seven days per year for a full-time worker, (which) would ensure that people don’t have to risk their economic health whenever they get sick or their children get sick,” Bellasorte said.

Greenlee this year did see passage of a much narrower mandatory sick leave law that applies only to companies that do business with the city (see related story).

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