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Earned Sick Days in Philladelphia

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At Green Night Out on February 4, Eileen Appelbaum of the Center for Economic and Policy Research discussed "Paid Family Leave and Earned Sick Pay: What Activists Should Know."

Appelbaum explained to the diners, " A surprisingly high two-out-of-five private sector workers, and four-out-of-five low-wage workers, have no paid sick days at all. That's 210,000 Philadelphians who do not have a single paid sick day, and most workers who do have paid sick days can't use them to care for a sick child."

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While consuming mountains of delicious food, the diners discussed how Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed an earned sick-day bill in June 2011. At the time, Nutter, standing on the steps of the Camber of Commerce, told the press, "The paid-sick-leave bill . . . would put thousands of jobs at risk and discourage businesses from coming to the city of Philadelphia."  

Appelbaum told Green Night Out that Nutter was wrong. "There is no evidence that earned sick pay causes job loss or discourages businesses from opening." When earned sick pay became available in San Francisco, CA, in 2004, it had a beneficial impact on the business economy there. Studies have shown that San Francisco outperformed its neighboring counties in terms of job growth in the years after its sick leave program went into effect -- even during the recent recession.

Appelbaum explained that a similar bill will be introduced into City Council during 2012. The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, www.earnedsickdaysphilly.com/, is organizing support for the bill, and they plan to sign up a veto-proof majority of council members this time.

Appelbaum's most recent book, Low Wage America: How Employers are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace , is available from www.amazon.com.  

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Green Night Out takes place monthly at Singapore Kosher Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant, www.singaporevegetarian.com. Green Night Out is sponsored by the Green Party of Philadelphia, www.gpop.org. For more information about future Green Nights Out, please contact 215-243-7103.
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Chris Robinson is a graduate of Central High School (#219) in Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Germantown and has been an at-large member of the Green Party of Philadelphia (www.gpop.org) City Committee since 2011. Chris Robinson is also a member (more...)
 

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