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Call and come out in support of the earned sick time bill!
The earned sick time bill is moving towards a final vote in City Council this Thursday, June 16. Please join us on the 4th floor of City Hall at 9:30 am. Help us greet City Council members as they enter Session. Then we'll pack Council chambers to show the importance of this bill. Bring any signs or posters to represent why you support earned sick days. You can enter City Hall at the north-east corner. Remember to bring a picture ID.
Where is Bill Green on the legislation?
And, please, today, give at-large Councilman Bill Green a call at (215) 686-3420 and ask him to support the legislation. Councilman Green has been pretty perplexing on this issue. He has been saying supportive things for a few months now but also putting forward a variety of amendments, some of which made a lot of sense and which were adopted and some of which seemed kind of pointless. And now, he seems to be leaning against the legislation because he wants to create an exemption for stores like Wal-Mart that provided earned sick time before the legislation came into effect. The problem is that while Wal-Mart gives its employees sick time, it also gives them demerits if they take the sick time. That’s just not an acceptable way to treat one's employees or the public because it encourages people who serve the public to come to work sick.
This legislation is controversial among some small business and restaurant owners. I grew up in the hotel business and I know that responsible restaurateurs are concerned about the health of their employees and, even more so, of their customers. When I ran the kitchen and dining room at my parent’s hotel, I was concerned if a server or a kitchen worker was sniffling and tried to keep them far from food handling. And there were time when I took over for them and sent them to bed. When I go to restaurants today I am just grossed out when I see someone who is obviously ill working. But responsible restaurateurs are under competitive pressure not to grant earned sick time, just as business people who want to raise wages are under competitive pressure to keep them low. This legislation, like minimum wage legislation, raises the bar for all employers. It may add a little bit to the cost of a meal or child care. But the benefit to working people and to the health of people in the city is certainly worth it.
But don't take my word for it, check out this wonderful song by Tom Lehrer that addresses the issue (or one like it)!
So please, call Councilman Green today and join us on Thursday.