We need your help.
In February, Philadelphia passed earned sick day legislation.
The ordinance was a long time coming and had been well-vetted with data. National Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that low-income workers, who are disproportionately women and minorities, have less access to paid sick leave than other workers. Women are disproportionately the primary caregivers in modern families and increasingly, the primary breadwinners, too. In a recent survey, 47 percent of women who stayed home to care for a sick child reported losing pay, a particularly difficult burden in tough economic times.
Nonetheless, Mayor Nutter convened a task force to further study the issue. The task force concluded that an earned paid sick day ordinance was a positive development for both Philadelphia workers and public health, with no significant economic drawbacks.
Almost immediately, conservative lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Legislature drafted a pre-emption bill that would prohibit other jurisdictions from passing an ordinance like the one in Philadelphia. On March 3, they added a retroactive amendment to the bill, so that it could also strip Philadelphia of its progressive victory.
As Women’s Law Attorney Amal Bass explained at the time, “[The bill’s supporters claim they are] trying to ban Pennsylvania towns and cities from mandating earned paid sick days because ‘uniformity is important’. Meanwhile, the United States is the only industrialized country without earned paid sick leave. The only ‘uniformity’ we need is paid sick leave across the state and eventually throughout the country.”
A broad coalition is fighting to keep this bad bill from becoming law, from advocates for domestic violence victims to those who have already worked for years to pass the Philadelphia ordinance in the first place.
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence sent Senator Eichelberger a letter outlining their concerns with the bill.
From the letter:
Municipalities have shown leadership in establishing municipal policy or practice that provides important protections and accommodations for domestic violence victims who live and work within their jurisdictions. For example, in the city of Philadelphia victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may be eligible for an amount of unpaid leave from work in order to seek medical attention, obtain counseling, create a safety plan, relocate, and seek legal assistance. This ordinance allows victims to overcome barriers to safety without threat of retaliation from their employer.
Senate Bill 333 would eliminate the ability for municipalities to pass this type of employment protection for victims of domestic violence in their community. Without access to unpaid leave victims may be less likely to seek services in order to flee their abuser—which puts victims and their children at risk of continued violence.
This bill could come up for vote TODAY. We have two small asks that will help fight this bad bill tremendously.
Contact your Senator and tell them you oppose the state forcing back Philadelphia’s progress and endangering domestic violence survivors by stripping away the earned paid sick day ordinance.
Or simply click through to our action page.
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