Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Liberty City Calls on Council to Pass Earned Sick Days Bill

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Contact: Micah Mahjoubian
Phone: (215) 432-1068

Liberty City Calls on Council to Pass Earned Sick Days Bill

Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club today officially joined the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces and called on Philadelphia City Council to pass earned sick days legislation Thursday, June 16th.

“Liberty City has worked tirelessly to promote policies that support LGBT residents and families and we have worked just as tirelessly to elect councilmembers who support those LGBT-friendly policies,” said Lee Carson, Co-Chair of Liberty City. “The earned sick days bill is critical in supporting and protecting LGBT families and Liberty City expects LGBT-supportive councilmembers to vote for it.”

"Passing the earned sick days bill is an important step forward for LGBT civil rights in Philadelphia." added Liberty City Co-Chair Adah Bush.

Liberty City joins the following LGBT Community and HIV/AIDS leadership organizations in supporting earned sick days legislation: Mazzoni Center, William Way, Action AIDS, Philadelphia AIDS Fund, Philadelphia Family Pride, AIDS Law Project, GALAEI, and Philadelphia Fight.

Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill 080474) would 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 businesses. It was voted out of the Public Health and Human Services Committee earlier this year. The bill could affect up to 200,000 workers in Philadelphia who do not have access to paid sick days.

The earned sick day bill is LGBT-inclusive. The bill explicitly allows workers to use earned sick time to care for spouses, domestic partners or life partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, biological children, grandchildren, foster children, adopted children, stepchildren, legal wards, and children of workers who stand “in loco parentis” (this phrase covers LGBT parents who do not have a legal or biological relationship to their children).

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.

City Council is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday, June 16, 2011.

Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club works to register, educate, and mobilize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) voters, elect openly LGBT candidates for public and party office, support LGBT-friendly candidates and promote legislative issues of importance to the LGBT community.


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