Employment Policy Group Urges Philadelphia City Council to Consider Unintended Consequences of Mandated Leave

Employment Policies Institute Says Mandated Benefits Like Paid Leave Will Hurt Philadelphia Employees
  • Publication Date: March 2011

  • Topics: Health Care

Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) urged the Philadelphia City Council to consider the unintended consequences of mandating paid leave.

Legislation (Bill No. 080474) being read today by the City Council, would require all Philadelphia businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Despite the claims of advocates, mandates like this could have unintended consequences for Philadelphia citizens including reduced hours, cuts in benefits, and fewer job opportunities.

“Many impacted employers have low profit margins, so for each dollar in revenue, only a few cents are made in profit–meaning there’s not a lot of leeway for added labor costs,” said Saltsman. “This is especially true among employees already earning the minimum, and could cause job loss among this vulnerable group.”

Proponents of the legislation tout dramatic benefits to employees and the public from this “free lunch,” but their own research disproves the claim.

“According to a survey conducted in San Francisco by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, close to 30 percent of employees in the bottom fifth of earners reported layoffs or reduced hours at their place of work after passage of the paid sick leave mandate,” Saltsman continued. “Their research also reveals this shocking statistic: Eight out of 10 employers in San Francisco said the paid sick leave ordinance had no effect on the number of employees who came to work sick.”

Saltsman concluded, “According to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of four private sector employees in Philadelphia already have access to some sort of paid leave. The remaining employees don’t have it because their employer can’t afford it. There will surely be unintended consequences for Philadelphia if a leave policy is mandated.”