PA nurse creates petition to stop statewide ban on paid sick days
There’s an effort in the Pennsylvania legislature to pull the rug out from any potential future paid sick days law in any city or township. It’s coming in the form of state House legislation, and would mandate that no state municipality could pass its own legislation mandating paid sick days for any private business of any size.
The legislation, titled the State Preemption for Local Mandated Leave Ordinances Act, is rationalized as such: “Not all businesses are the same, and a blanket policy that does not recognize these differences only hurts small businesses struggling in this current economy.”
If you’ll remember, Philly came this close to passing paid sick days (legislation which would mandate all businesses in the city give their employees a certain amount of earned sick time per year) earlier this year, but failed to override a Mayor Nutter veto by just one vote. Philly is, of course, used as a scapegoat in Grove’s legislative memo.
With that in mind, a Pennsylvania nurse has recently started an online petition to stop the bill, noting Grove’s bill would “would hurt middle class and working women and families, like mine”—in spite of the bill claiming it’s supposed to do the opposite, which it has when introduced all over the country after being spawned at the American Legislative Exchange Conference (ALEC).
As I wrote of the bill last week last week:
Rep. Grove did not respond to PW’s request for comment, and was, therefore, unable to tell us whether his bill draws upon the work of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization of businesses and foundations that produces prepackaged legislation for state legislators. In either case, Grove’s concern isn’t original: In 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a similar bill banning paid sick days in that state, overriding widely popular sick-leave legislation passed by 70 percent of voters in Milwaukee.
Keystone Progress, a liberal statewide advocacy organization, released a report on ALEC a couple years back, and KP says Grove’s new legislation is “no surprise at all.”
“This is what we’ve been trying to warn people about,” says KP executive director Michael Morrill. “This legislation doesn’t come from constituents. These are laws that are written by big corporations, given to legislators, then they bring them back to their home states and use them. That’s exactly what happened here, because we know there are similar bills all over the country.”
That entire article can be found here.
“[B]ig corporate lobbyists are at it again, and these state legislators are doing their bidding by trying to roll back and prevent local policies for earned sick days and decent wages,” continues the petition, which seeks 100 signatures.
“Having been a school nurse for 29 years, I witnessed time and time again children who came to school sick because their parents had to work and couldn’t afford to take the day off to spend time helping their children get better. When families don’t have access to earned sick days, it hurts our children’s health, and it hurts our economy.”
It’s not known whether or not Grove’s bill will actually move in the legislature this session. Passing it may be tough for Gov. Corbett, considering its popularity (77 percent in Philadelphia wanted it passed this last time around; about 70 percent support it nationally) and his lack of it in an election year.