For a second time, Mayor Michael Nutter has vetoed a bill mandating paid sick leave for most workers in Philadelphia.
“The burden businesses would face in meeting the requirements of this bill would deter job creation and decrease the competitiveness of our city at a time when we can ill afford it,” said Nutter in his veto letter.
The sponsor is not trying to override the veto … yet. Councilman Bill Greenlee says he has 11 of the 12 votes needed for an override but that final vote has become elusive as business leaders campaign hard against the bill.
“Nobody has said it’s wrong it’s just timing and does it send the wrong message and perception, I think I have given answers to all those concerns, but we are where we are right now and we’ll see,” he said.
Joe Grace of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce says the group supports the veto.
“We think that imposing a mandatory sick leave requirement sends the wrong signal to small businesses that are working hard everyday to make their business grow and work and create jobs in Philadelphia.”
“Mayor Nutter’s decision to deny more than 100,000 working people in Philadelphia the right to earn paid sick days is disturbing and short-sighted — and it shows blatant disregard for the will and well-being of city residents,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “By vetoing for a second time a policy that has been shown to benefit working families, businesses, the public’s health and local economies, he has once again chosen special business interests over what is best for the city.
Councilman Jim Kenney says the bill, which exempts companies with five or fewer employees, would kill jobs.
“I believe that family businesses that have six employees will go down to five to avoid the bill,” said Kenney.
Councilman Greenlee says if he can find another vote, he will try an override next week.