Mayor Nutter to decide on Philly paid sick leave this week

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to decide by Thursday whether to veto a bill forcing most companies to provide paid sick leave.

The odds are against the bill and its sponsor, Councilman Bill Greenlee. In 2011, Nutter vetoed a similar paid sick leave bill, arguing that it would put jobs at risk.

Still, Greenlee said he is hopeful that won’t happen again.

“We have put a ‘mom and pop’ exemption in so companies with five or less employees would not have to provide any paid sick days,” he said. “We’ve excluded interns, pool employees, that kind of thing. So we think we’ve made this a very palatable bill.”

If Nutter does veto the bill, Greenlee hopes that Council will override it.

It would take 12 votes to do that. Council passed the bill last month with only 11 votes.

Councilman Bill Green voted for the paid sick leave bill in 2011, even though he opposed it, as part of a deal to help squash Nutter’s proposed soda tax. Would he cut a deal like that again?

“I don’t see myself changing positions on sick leave,” Green said. “There are a lot of small businesses that exist in neighborhoods, that are jobs that we need, that can easily pick up and move somewhere else if we make it more expensive for them to do business here.”

If Nutter vetoes the bill, Greenlee said Council will likely vote on it again this week or next.

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