Pa. Senate Tries to Stop Philly Sick Leave Law

Bill's backers say policy should be set at state level.

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill to pre-empt and undo Philly’s new law requiring most employers provide paid sick leave to their employees.

KYW Radio:

The state Senate has sent the House a bill that would overturn Philadelphia’s new law, set to take effect next month, that would require business owners with at least ten employees to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.

Philadelphia Democrat Vincent Hughes led the unsuccessful effort to derail the Senate bill.

“It denies the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the opportunity to govern themselves, even though they went through a very deliberative process.”


The bill goes to the Republican-controlled House, where a GOP spokesman said many members support it. But it is opposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

“Governor Wolf supports paid sick leave for workers, and local municipalities’ ability to pass ordinances for leave that they believe will help families and the economy,” spokesman Jeff Sheridan said in a statement.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair, said sick leave policies should not be dictated by municipalities, and such requirements hurt the smallest businesses that have tight margins and the flexibility to allow people to change shifts to accommodate their needs.


Reacting to the vote, Mayor Nutter said through spokesman Mark McDonald that the sick-leave law he signed Feb. 12 was “consensus-driven” and a “modest step,” and that preempting it would “upset the settled expectations of Philadelphia’s workers and businesses.” Nutter said he would keep imploring legislators to reject the preemption bill.

City Councilman William Greenlee, the bill’s sponsor, who had pushed the issue for six years, said he agreed with some senators members who think the state should pass a uniform paid sick-leave bill, but added, “It’s not going to happen any time soon, and I don’t think Philadelphia workers should have to wait.