Jasmine Rivera and I got a chance to speak with Councilman Mark Squilla at a school rally in South Philly yesterday about the Earned Sick Leave bill.
At this point it is clear to me that he is planning to vote “no.”
His justification for not supporting something that will clearly benefit a majority of his constituents however didn’t make any sense.
One of the things that stands out is he said that he just got over the flu and that he went to work and got his whole office sick.
First of all, Councilman, EEEWWWWW!
That is really gross and inconsiderate.
He talked specifically about restaurants and how he thought that not having sick leave was “just how the industry is.”
Too bad the Chamber of Commerce didn’t have Squilla on it’s side when they were trying to keep kids in coal mines.
SUMMARY- When people go in and get others sick it is NOT A PROBLEM. I do it all the time.
He said that he remembered that when he was a bartender, that you would just swap shifts with other people when you were sick.
I pointed out that the Earned Sick Leave bill will not prevent people from swapping shifts. Earned Sick Leave will just guarantee them the right to stay home even if they can’t find anyone to cover their shift.
The Councilman just nodded.
My voice was reaching his head. Confirmed.
SUMMARY- It is not a problem, but if it was a problem, people could deal with it by switching shifts…unless they can’t.
Then the Councilman said that “people will go in sick anyway.” And that he favored giving restaurant owners incentives to voluntarily give paid sick leave.
SUMMARY- Earned Sick Leave will not 100% eradicate people going to work while sick so we should do nothing, unless the owners decide it is a problem..which (see above) it isn’t.
He also said that he went and ate at El Fuego and met the workers there and they were happier because of sick leave, but, no matter.
I can’t make sense of that.
It does sound to me like the Councilman has been coached by a restaurant owner (vs the restaurant association). Many owners see no problem with serving potentially tainted food since everyone else is doing it too.
At some point, Councilman Squilla will have to listen to his constituents, though.