For all the reasons Stephen Herzenberg lays out here in his testimony:
Economic benefit 3: Promoting high-road business and a high-road city. Economic opponents of earned sick days such as National Federation of Independent Business Chief Economist Charles Dunkleberg take a static view of labor standards focused on short-term costs. His perspective is similar to the view that has fueled opposition to labor standards going back to the first fights about prohibitions on child labor. An alternative view of labor standards was articulated by MIT economist Michael Piore in a well-known article some two decades ago. Piore points to the role of labor standards in shaping employer “business strategy” and influencing employers to embrace business strategies that lead to higher levels of service, productivity, and innovation. In today’s Philadelphia, low-cost, low-standard business strategies are likely to translate into low rates of service, quality, and innovation. They are also likely to perpetuate the large numbers of poverty-wage, dead-end jobs in the city. By contrast, higher-standard business strategies offer greater opportunities for increasing economic vitality and improving job opportunities in the city.
Clearly, the conditions the will produce more high-standard businesses are complex. Moreover, support for businesses to adopt high-standard approaches will be at least as important as limits on their ability to perpetuate low-standard ones. Nonetheless, it seems likely that implementing advanced labor standards, including earned sick days, is compatible with efforts to promote innovation in the city and, at best, a way to distinguish the city to forward-looking entrepreneurs and high-skill workers as a 21st century city not a 19th century one. In this regard, it is worth that Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2011 named San Francisco, with its earned sick days law on the books, the 3rd best city globally for business and innovation in the world (online at http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/2011/pdfdownload.jhtml?ch….
A Flawed Estimate of the Cost of Earned Sick Days. The primary study used by opponents of earned sick days in Philadelphia is a critique of the proposed 2011 legislation written by William Dunkleberg, the Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). (The 2011 bill was similar to the current bill except that the current bill also allows domestic violence survivors to use earned sick days for treatment and counseling.) To my knowledge, Dunkleberg’s study has never been formally released, which makes it less subject to public scrutiny. It has been widely circulated to council members and editorial boards. Its claim that earned sick days could cost $350 million reportedly resurfaced recently in a phone call with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.