The legislation, introduced in January by Councilman-at-Large Bill Greenlee, passed 11-6 on March 14.
Council approved the bill in a 9-8 vote last session but Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed it. Twelve votes are needed to override a veto.
The legislation would mandate that companies with 12 or more employees give staffers one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 56 earned hours a year. Employees at companies with five-11 staffers could earn up to 32 hours of paid sick leave, and companies with fewer than five employees would be exempt.
The bill would allow employees to take time off to care for a same-sex partner. Advocates say it could also be important for people with HIV/AIDS or for transgender people undergoing surgeries.
The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, which has mobilized in support of the bill, said the Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that the bill could save approximately $10.3 million annually in healthcare costs and could save Philadelphia employers more than a half-million dollars per year.
San Francisco adopted such a measure in 2007, and Portland, Ore., followed suit this month.
The local measure was backed by Councilmembers Greenlee, Darrell Clarke, Cindy Bass, Jannie Blackwell, W. Wilson Goode Jr., Bobby Henon, Kenyatta Johnson, Curtis Jones, Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Marian Tasco.
Opponents included Councilmembers Mark Squilla, whose district encompasses the Gayborhood; Brian O’Neill, Bill Green, Dennis O’Brien, James Kenney and David Oh.
Squilla did not respond to a call for comment by presstime.
Nutter has until April 4 to veto the measure. Out attorney and bill supporter Sherrie Cohen urged the community to press the mayor.
“By including LGBT families on the same basis as all other families, this bill helps move us toward full equality for LGBT families,” Cohen said.
LGBT bookstore Giovanni’s Room has three paid employees, and owner Ed Hermance provides paid sick leave.
“It would be awful to make people choose to get rent money or stay at home sick,” he said. “That really forces them to come to work and we’ve got all these sick people around. I feel like it is a way of respecting people’s needs. As an employer, it clearly helps with morale.”
Greenlee said he does expect a challenge in garnering the 12 necessary votes to invalidate a potential mayoral veto but that he would work toward that aim.
“The administration has been pretty adamant that they are opposed,” he said. “I don’t think they have looked at the full impact of this bill. I just wish they would look at the health aspects of the bill. We knew this would not be easy. There was pushback from various entities on this bill. We had our challenges from day one. We have been trying and certainly given in on a lot of issues and compromised on a lot of things for this bill.”