HARRISBURG – (April 14th, 2015) Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement on the need to protect the right of local municipalities to pass paid sick leave legislation:

“Two months ago, Philadelphia stood behind working families by providing over 200,000 workers the opportunity to earn paid sick days. Now Philadelphia’s historic legislation and others like it are threatened by some state lawmakers in Harrisburg. Today, the Senate is poised to consider Senate Bill 333, which will override Philadelphia’s paid sick leave ordinance and prohibit other municipalities from adopting similar legislation in support of working families.

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Several supporters of Senate Bill 333 cite the need for uniformity, yet offer no statewide solution to ensure essential paid sick leave for working Pennsylvanians. Recognizing these concerns, I’ve introduced legislation to establish statewide parameters for local ordinances providing employee paid sick leave. Under my bill, which I also will offer as an amendment to Senate Bill 333, local officials may authorize workers to earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Make no mistake; this is about economic justice for working families. It’s simply unconscionable that so many people—many of them making very low wages—are forced to come to work when they are sick, endangering themselves and others. The Pennsylvania Senate should support Philadelphia’s efforts, not deny hard working employees the opportunity to earn paid sick leave.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is also the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.