In response to the growing trend of municipalities enacting paid sick leave ordinances, business groups are trying to fight back. On April 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would overturn Philadelphia’s new paid sick leave law. In New Jersey, however, a court challenge to Trenton’s paid sick leave ordinance has hit a roadblock.
The City of Philadelphia paid sick leave law ─ the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance ─ was signed on February 12, 2015 making Philadelphia the first, and thus far only, municipality in Pennsylvania to pass such a law. The Ordinance requires employers with 10 or more employees to provide full- and part-time employees who work at least 40 hours per year in Philadelphia to accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. The Ordinance, which is set to take effect on May 13, 2015, is now in jeopardy after the Pennsylvania Senate has passed Senate Bill 333, by a 37-12 vote. The bill would prevent municipalities in Pennsylvania from adopting paid sick leave ordinances and only require business owners to offer workers paid sick leave in accordance with state or federal law. The bill’s sponsor, Senator John Eichelberger, R-Blair, stated that the intent of the bill was to promote statewide uniformity as opposed to allowing each municipality to create its own leave laws. Currently, legislation requiring paid sick leave is pending at the state level.