PA Supreme Court: Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Day Law Can Stand
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Pittsburgh can require private employers to provide paid sick leave, upholding a 2015 piece of legislation passed in Pittsburgh City Council in 2015.
The ruling is being celebrated by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Councilors that supported this legislation, along with the union members that represent the service employees.
“Guaranteeing paid sick leave is a huge win for those who live and work in Pittsburgh,” Peduto said in a statement. “As I’ve long said, people should not be forced into making the tough decision between staying home sick and missing a day’s pay or coming in to work and spreading infection.”
The Pittsburgh ordinance was being opposed in the courts by business organizations. The AP reports that the businesses that opposed the ordinance were successful in lower courts twice prior to today’s ruling.
Today’s ruling in the Supreme Court upheld the Pittsburgh law by a 4-3 vote according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
The four justices that sided with the Pittsburgh law say that the city can “express statutory authority to legislate in furtherance of disease control and prevention,” the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports.
Some Democratic members of the state legislature chimed in showing support for the ruling, including the Pennsylvania Democratic Party sharing the news on Twitter pointing to the 2015 Supreme Court elections that provided them the majority.
In 2015, we flipped the PA Supreme Court in an odd-year election just like the one this fall.
Because of that win, thousands of workers in Pittsburgh are now guaranteed sick leave! https://t.co/KrwUtCMpFd
— PA Democratic Party (@PADems) July 17, 2019
GOP lawmakers in Harrisburg have previously tried to pass legislation to prevent cities to enforce laws like paid sick leave and could do so again in the wake of this recent ruling.
The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), has introduced legislation that prevents a municipality to require paid sick leave and offered his thoughts to the ruling today.
“If Pittsburgh and Philly want to be San Francisco, they can just go to San Francisco,” Grove said to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
The Pittsburgh law requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, while employers with fewer than 15 employers must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year, the AP reports.
The full ruling can be read here.