— GNPCC thanks O’Neill, O’Brien and others for voting against the city legislation.
On behalf of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GNPCC) and our 800-plus members, I’d like to thank City Councilmen Brian O’Neill, Dennis O’Brien, David Oh, Bill Green, Jim Kenney and Mark Squilla for voting against Bill #130004, the paid sick leave legislation.
If it becomes law, this measure would require most local businesses to offer paid sick time to both full-time and part-time employees. While that is a worthy goal, it would also have unintended (and harmful) consequences for the same workers and businesses the city is trying to help.
As the Philadelphia Jobs Commission’s recent report acknowledged, our city’s businesses already face significant burdens: a maze of regulations, temporary taxes that become permanent, permanent taxes that continue to rise and the still-unknown impact of AVI. Mandatory paid sick leave would only add to these costs and make Philadelphia businesses less competitive with suburban counterparts.
In my role as president of GNPCC, I spend a significant amount of time speaking with local business owners. The overwhelming majority are smart, well-intentioned managers who want to provide for their families and do right by their employees.
But to meet the cost that paid sick leave would naturally add to their business operations (to say nothing of actually earning a profit), many have told me they’ll be forced to eliminate employees or cut back worker hours. Others predict they’d have to delay plans to hire new workers. Some say they wouldn’t be able to complete a planned expansion or renovation.
At a basic level, many owners also feel they should be responsible for making benefits and compensations arrangements with their employees, not city government. I don’t think that’s too much to ask — especially as the recession continues to squeeze profits and shrink consumer confidence.
I thank Councilmen Brian O’Neill, Dennis O’Brien and their colleagues for voting against the paid sick leave legislation, and I urge them to remain opposed to it moving forward. ••
Al Taubenberger is president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.