Passing paid sick days laws at the city or county level isn’t ideal. While the perennial concern-trolling about businesses going Galt and fleeing these cities is very much overblown, Pennsylvania’s fragmented system of local government really does make it exceptionally easy for our Galtian overlords to move businesses and residences to the next political unit over (usually a few yards in any direction, except in the Philadelphia city-county pair) to avoid taxes and regulations they don’t like.
Really we need a paid sick days law at the state level, but Republicans fully control state government right now and they like snot on their food and hate public health regulations. So until we win some more Democratic power in Harrisburg, it’s left up to city and county governments to pass paid sick days ordinances at the local level.
But now Rep. Seth Grove wants to squash even that, with a bill that would ban local governments from passing local paid sick days laws:
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Rep. Seth Grove (R) introduced a bill in the state House that would block cities and local governments in the statefrom implementing paid sick days bills or other forms of paid leave that aren’t already guaranteed at the state level. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Labor and Industry.
The bill states, “A political subdivision of this Commonwealth may not enact or administer a mandate requiring an employer to provide an employee or class of employees with vacation or other forms of leave from employment, paid or unpaid, that is not required by Federal or State law.” This would essentially mean that any local push for paid sick leave policies or other leave policies would be completely banned.
This is exactly the opposite direction of where we need to go. We need a statewide paid sick days law, and until that happens, we need to build up a beachhead of county paid sick days ordinances in the major metros. This bill would leave a statewide law change as the only resort, which obviously would be a much heavier lift.