PA Legislators Would Protect Battered Women From… Healthy Waitresses

State Senate amends domestic violence legislation with a ban on cities requiring sick leave.

Think Progress reports on how state legislators are trying to sneak a ban on cities requiring employers to offer paid sick leave: By attaching it to a bill to protect victims of domestic violence.

The Pennsylvania state House passed HB1796 unanimously, a bill that would protect domestic violence victims from eviction when they have to call the police multiple times on their abusers. But when it arrived in the Senate this week, lawmakers took the opportunity to add an amendment that would ban any local government in the state from passing paid or unpaid leave policies — policies that could also help these very victims.

Given that the amendment preempts any attempt to pass a leave policy, “that would include paid sick days, it would include unpaid domestic violence leave, it would include just about anything you can think of that would fall within those categories,” Marianne Bellesorte, vice president of policy, strategy, and communications at PathWays PA, told ThinkProgress.

Twice in recent years, Philadelphia City Council has passed bills that would require most employers to offer paid sick leave; Mayor Nutter has vetoed the bill both times. (The bills have been supported mostly by organizations representing restaurant workers.) Since then, state legislators have been looking to pre-empt local laws with a blanket ban, but thus far have been unable to pass them.

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  • Mark B. Cohen

    This bill is an outrage. It is likely being pushed at this time because the Philadelphia City Council is on the verge of getting a 12th Councilman who would likely vote to override Mayor Nutter’s veto of paid sick leave: Rep. Ed Nielson, a former union leader, has been nominated for the Council vacancy created by the resignation of paid sick leave opponent Bill Green. The Senate should revert the bill to the prior printer’s number and leave House Bill 1796 alone. Failing that, the House should not pass House Bill 1796 as amended.