Philadelphia Council Fails To Override Mayoral Veto Of Paid Sick Day Proposal

For the second time in three years, legislation that would have required businesses in Philadelphia to provide workers with paid sick leave has failed at the hands of Mayor Michael Nutter (D). Nutter vetoed the city council’s paid sick leave proposal last week, and the council Thursday fell one vote short of being able to override the veto.

The failure left city councilman Bill Greenlee, the bill’s chief backer, disappointed but vowing to continue pressing for paid sick leave, Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate reports:

“I’m very disappointed,” said city councilman Bill Greenlee, who tried but failed to get the 12 votes needed to override Mayor Nutter’s veto. “I’m particularly disappointed for the 180,000 workers who could have had a benefit that other cities are providing.”

Philadelphia’s proposal would have given workers one hour of sick leave for each 40 hours they worked, with workers at businesses with between six and 20 employees up to four sick days a year and those at businesses with more than 20 employees up to seven. Nutter vetoed the bill because he said it would have imposed strict costs on small businesses, a claim that while popular among paid sick day opponents has been debunked by numerous studies.

Portland, Oregon became the fourth American city to pass paid sick leave legislation earlier this year, joining San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and the entire state of Connecticut. The New York City Council reached a deal that should lead to paid sick leave legislation soon. Across the country, 40 percent of private sector workers go without paid sick days, while 80 percent of low-income workers don’t receive any paid sick leave.