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In Philadelphia, a Healthy Workforce and a Healthy Business Environment Go Together

MomsRising.org

How would guaranteeing all working people in Philadelphia the right to earn paid sick leave impact the city's economy?

The human reasons to ensure that all working Philadelphians are able to care for themselves and their ill loved ones are tremendously compelling.

The public health rationale for enabling people with contagious diseases to stay home and avoid spreading it is impeccable.

But in an era of high unemployment, good policymaking also requires that we answer another question: how would guaranteeing all working people in Philadelphia the right to earn paid sick leave impact the city’s economy?

To answer this question, I conducted a study analyzing Philadelphians’ access to paid sick leave and projecting the impact of a paid sick leave guarantee on Philadelphia’s economy. I found that guaranteeing paid sick leave will not impact employment or business growth in Philadelphia.  In the three years since San Francisco implemented its paid sick leave law, job growth there has consistently been higher than in neighboring counties without such a law, despite the nation’s deep recession.

Indeed, a growing body of research finds little evidence to support the argument that that job growth or business growth has been harmed by establishing paid sick leave as a standard. Instead, the policy provides a meaningful benefit to workers while improving public health and workplace productivity.