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

Mandated Benefits Like Paid Leave Will Hurt Philadelphia Employees and Employers
  • Publication Date: June 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 voted on by the City Council tomorrow at 10 AM, would require all Philadelphia businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Despite the claims of advocates, such a mandate could have unintended consequences for Philadelphia citizens including reduced hours, cuts in benefits, and fewer job opportunities.

“Proponents of the legislation tout dramatic benefits to employees and the public from this free lunch, but their own research disproves the claim,” said Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute. “In San Francisco, for instance, their research shows that about 30 percent of the lowest-paid employees 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.”

“The hard truth is that businesses don’t want their employees to come to work sick—it’s not good for their customers and it’s not good for their co-workers,” Saltsman concluded. “That’s why an estimated three-quarters of private employers in Philadelphia already offer some sort of paid leave.”

“The remainder, in low-margin industries that can’t afford a paid policy, offer flexible schedules where employees can make up missed shifts. Not only would a bureaucratic mandate kill that flexibility—it could eliminate some jobs altogether, having sickening consequences for the employees lawmakers want to help.”