Thursday, June 16, 2011

WE WIN! Philadelphia City Council Passes Earned Sick Day Bill

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2011

Contact:
Lauren Townsend, Philadelphia Earned Sick Day Campaign
215-939-7621

Philadelphia City Council Passes Earned Sick Day Bill

All across the country, working families have been taking a beating.
We say to those workers: Come to Philadelphia! We are open for business

Philadelphia. Today is a great day for Philadelphia working people. Philadelphia City Council passed the earned sick day bill – sponsored by Councilman Darrell Clarke and Councilman Bill Greenlee.

Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill 080474) will, after Mayor Nutter’s signature, allow Philadelphia workers the opportunity to earn up to 7 days of sick time per year for a large business and up to 4 days per year for a small business. The bill could affect up to 200,000 workers in Philadelphia who do not have access to paid sick days.

Earned, paid, sick days are supported by a majority of Philadelphia citizens (71%). Paid sick days are also supported by the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, that boasts over 100 organizations representing tens of thousands of Philadelphians. The Coalition has been pressing for passage of the bill for two years.

Today’s overwhelming vote underscores what we already know – supporting workers is good for our public health and good for our economy.

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces looks forward to Mayor Nutter signing this bill – which will be a model for the rest of the nation in terms of creating common sense policies that provide real security for our workforce and supporting a growing economy. This bill strikes the right balance.

Members of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces expressed their elation about Council’s passage of the earned sick day bill:

This is a great day for working families in Philadelphia. We applaud Councilman Clarke and Philadelphia City Council for taking this historic vote and making Philadelphia one step closer to being the largest city in the country with earned sick time.

Marvin Robinson, Leader, Action United

We are thrilled that City Council is following the will of the people of Philadelphia and the health of the workforce and our communities and strongly encourage Mayor Nutter to sign the Healthy Families bill and support our citizens! Thank you to everyone who believes in the well-being of our workers, their children and their families.

Carol Goertzel, President/CEO, PathWays PA

Passing this legislation will ensure that all workers are treated with the dignity they deserve. Particularly our city’s mothers and daughters – who are disproportionately impacted – they can take care of themselves and loved ones without having to lose a day’s pay or their job. We look forward to Mayor Nutter’s signature on this important bill.

Amanda S. Aronoff, Executive Director, WOMEN’S WAY

City Council took a major step forward today, both in protecting the right of workers and in protecting the health of all Philadelphians. We expect Mayor Nutter to take the next step and sign this legislation. Doing so at a time when conservatives are trying to roll back protections for working people in Harrisburg and Washington will send an important message to progressives throughout the country: we are ready to fight.

Marc Stier, Executive Director, Penn Action

This is a great day for LGBT parents in Philadelphia. We look forward to Mayor Nutter’s signature on this bill to make earned sick days a reality.

Stephanie Haynes, Community Coordinator, Philadelphia Family Pride

Background

With over 40 percent of Philadelphians lacking earned sick days, a large portion of the population cannot take the time off work to go see a doctor or obtain medical treatment - regardless of the medical coverage they have.

Employees with earned sick days are more likely to stay home when they are sick, limiting the spread of the illness and protecting co-workers, customers, or anyone else they meet during the work day. During the height of the H1N1 pandemic, people were urged to stay home if they had any signs of the flu, however, those without earned sick days were less likely to stay home because they could not afford to. As a result, nearly 8 million H1N1 cases were traced back to employees going to work while sick.

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