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PA Lawmakers Move to Overturn Philly Sick Leave Ordinance

On Tuesday (April 14, 2015), the Pennsylvania Senate approved a bill that would invalidate Philadelphia's new mandatory paid sick-leave ordinance, which is scheduled to go into effect on May 13, 2015. Mayor Nutter finally signed the Philly ordinance on February 12, 2015, after vetoing similar legislation in 2011 and 2013. Sen. John Eichelberger (R., Blair), who sponsored the state bill, called Philadelphia's sick-leave law "a mistake."

Philly’s sick leave ordinance requires businesses with 10 or more employees provide at least an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Workers would be able to use the accrued sick time either for their own illnesses or those of family members, or to seek support in dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault. The law does not cover independent contractors, seasonal workers or those hired for fewer than six months, adjunct professors, interns, government employees, and workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Sen. Eichelberger said allowing municipalities to create their own laws on this issue would create an uneven - and likely unfair - playing field for businesses and workers. He and other supporters believe Philadelphia overstepped its bounds; the issue should be left to the state or federal government. The PA bill now heads to the House, where it is said to have support.

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