PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council today takes up an idea that has already prompted controversy: a bill that forces employers in Philadelphia to offer workers earned sick leave.

The bill before a council committee today would allow all workers to earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work. 

An advocate for the bill, Marianne Bellesorte of Pathways PA, said, “It will cut down on health care costs, but it will also help the employer by helping them have workers that are more productive when they’re at work, and who are more loyal to the company.”

Bellesorte says right now 40% of families in Philadelphia don’t get any sick time.

But the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is opposed.  CEO Rob Wonderling says mandatory earned sick leave will hurt the bottom line of many small firms, “It’s just one more cost of doing business in this city, which is already a high cost city.”

Wonderling says the free market, not government, should dictate a company’s policy on sick leave.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060