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§ 9-4101. Findings.

Whereas the Council finds that:

(1) Most workers in the City of Philadelphia will at some time during the year need temporary time off from work to take care of their own health needs or the health needs of members of their families.

(2) According to the Employee Benefit Survey of the national Bureau of Labor Statistics, 35% to 40% of workers in Philadelphia, or approximately 200,000 workers, lack access to paid sick leave. Among workers who have paid sick leave, many have an inadequate amount of time they can use, are limited in their ability to use their sick time without retaliation or cannot use their sick time to care for their families. Nationally, nearly 4 in 10 of all workers do not have earned paid sick days and millions more workers cannot use sick days to care for sick children.

(3) In this economy, earned paid sick days are needed now more than ever. For too many Philadelphians, taking time off from work due to illness or family emergency means sacrificing much-needed income and risking loss of a job. As the economy returns to prosperity, families need every penny of the income they earn to stay financially secure. According to the Mayor's Task Force on Paid Sick Leave, for a family without paid time off, on average, 3.1 days of pay lost due to illness is equivalent to an entire month's health care budget and 3.5 days is equivalent to its entire monthly grocery budget.

(4) According to the national Bureau of Labor Statistics, low-income workers, especially women and minorities, are significantly less likely to have earned paid sick days than other members of the workforce. Nationally, four in five low income workers (80%) do not have access to paid sick days.

(5) Providing workers the opportunity to earn time off to attend to their own health care and the health care of family members will ensure a healthier and more productive workforce in the City of Philadelphia. Many studies document the impact of paid sick days on access to and use of preventative care and reduced recovery times. According to the Mayor's Task Force on Paid Sick Leave, women without paid sick days are significantly less likely to obtain preventive breast exams than women who have access to paid sick leave.

(6) Earned paid sick days will have a positive effect on the public health of the City of Philadelphia by allowing sick workers the occasional option of staying at home to care for themselves when ill, thus reducing their recovery time and reducing the likelihood of spreading illness to other members of the workforce and to the public. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend that children be kept home for 24 hours after a fever and that people experiencing the flu avoid public contact for 5 days to reduce the risk of contagion for co-workers and the public. Workers without paid sick days are least likely to follow these guidelines.

(7) Paid sick days will also save taxpayers money. Workers without paid sick leave are five times more likely to report using the emergency room adding to avoidable health care costs.

(8) Earned paid sick days will allow parents to provide personal care for their sick children. Parental care makes children's recovery faster, prevents more serious illnesses, and improves children's overall mental and physical health.

(9) Families whose children have any learning disability, including autism, face a number of challenges. Parents without access to earned paid sick days must choose between providing essential care and treatment for their children or keeping a job that provides an essential income for their families.

(10) Providing a minimal number of earned paid sick days is affordable for employers and good for business.

(11) Employers who provide the opportunity for workers to earn paid sick days have greater employee retention and avoid the problem of workers coming to work sick and lowering productivity. Workers who come to work sick are less productive and more likely to experience workplace injury. According to the Mayor's Task Force on Paid Sick Leave, "presenteeism" or coming to work sick is estimated to cost employers twice as much as absenteeism due to illness.

(12) Nationally, almost 60% of those who provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend must combine their caregiving with employment in order to provide financially for their family member and themselves.

(13) Employees frequently lose their jobs or are disciplined with suspensions or demerits for taking sick days to care for sick family members or even to recover from their own illnesses.

(14) Workers in jobs with significant public contact, such as service workers and restaurant workers, are very unlikely to have earned paid sick days. Because of the lack of earned paid sick days, these workers have no choice but to come to work when they are ill, thereby increasing the risk of passing illnesses on to co-workers and customers. For example, approximately 78% of food service and accommodation workers in the Philadelphia area do not have earned paid sick days.

(15) In 2010, more than 115,000 individuals called the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) for help with domestic violence emergencies – representing more than 300 calls per day.

(16) Because incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are tragically common and affect a large number of workers, the ability to use earned paid sick days to protect survivors' jobs when they seek help is an important protection for workers who cannot afford to take unpaid time off.

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sick
work
paid
earn
care
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earned
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