By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia city councilman who championed paid sick leave is exasperated that Harrisburg lawmakers are considering taking it away.
Councilman-at-large Bill Greenlee championed the paid sick leave bill, fought through two mayoral vetoes and finally saw the measure become law in February.
Now, though, the state Senate has overwhelming approved and sent to the House a bill that overturns the local measure. Greenlee is dismayed and surprised that several Democrats in the Senate supported the GOP bill.
“Some of the people who voted for this bill are from working class areas.” Said Greenlee. “Their workers would need that too. And to take that possibility away from them is very disturbing, very disturbing.”
Democrats who voted for the state bill said they’d prefer to see paid sick leave dealt with at the state level, for consistency on the idea across the Commonwealth.
Greenlee says that’s fine, but he doesn’t see why Philly’s law has to become moot in the meantime.
“I like the fact that some of the people who voted for the bill said that they would like to see (paid sick leave) statewide. I do too.” Said Greenlee, “But in the interim, Philadelphia should be able to do what they need to do for the health of their citizens. And that’s what we’re talking about here.”
The Philadelphia law allows for one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked. It applies to local firms with ten or more employees.
The measure is not due to take effect until mid-May.
The state Senate bill would prevent all Pennsylvania municipalities from imposing their own sick leave requirements on businesses. It remains unclear when the House will take it up.