After 7-Year Fight, Council Passes, Michael Nutter Signs Paid Sick Leave

The law will go into effect in three months. Did its anticipated passage help Philly land the DNC?

Bill Greenlee, photo City Council Flickr | Michael Nutter, photo Jeff Fusco Read more at

Bill Greenlee, photo City Council Flickr | Michael Nutter, photo Jeff Fusco

[Update, 3:00 p.m.]: Mayor Michael Nutter signed mandatory paid sick leave into law Thursday, just hours after City Council passed the legislation.

“I think we finally struck the right balance between the needs of employees and employers,” said Nutter. “That’s been my goal from day one.”

At a bill-signing ceremony, Nutter noted that Philadelphia was selected today to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“We’re going to do something really great for citizens of Philadelphia,” said Nutter, “and also help to carry this message across the United States of America.”

City Councilman Bill Greenlee, the sponsor of the bill, said that rumor has it that the anticipated passage of paid sick leave helped Philly land the convention. “It helped,” Nutter said.

The law will go into effect in 90 days.

[Original, 11:51 p.m.] City Councilman Bill Greenlee won his seven-year fight Thursday to pass legislation requiring Philadelphia businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

The City Council passed the bill 14-2.

The legislation mandates that companies with at least 10 employees offer the benefit. Employees would earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, for a maximum total of five days annually.

This is the third time since 2008 that Greenlee has introduced paid sick leave legislation. Mayor Michael Nutter twice vetoed such bills, but he has announced that he’ll sign it today at 2:30 p.m. at City Hall. Everett Gillison, Nutter’s chief-of-staff, says Nutter did not believe the time was right for paid sick leave in past years because the city was still grappling with the recession.

Greenlee’s remarks on the Council floor were brief. He said, “Earned paid sick leave is the right thing to do … let’s finally do it.”

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce lobbied for Greenlee to amend his bill to only apply to companies with a greater number of workers, arguing in an Inquirer op-ed, “some employers may decide that they cannot expand or have to lay off employees to meet this new mandate.”

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