Mayor, Council: PA Supreme Court needs to allow Paid Sick Days in City

Media Advisory for Thursday, February 15, 2018
Contact: Jodi Hirsh, jodi@sequalconsulting.com, 412-342-8862

Pittsburgh, PA—At a press conference tomorrow morning, Mayor Peduto and Councilman O’Connor will join with Pittsburgh United and the Women’s Law Project to discuss briefs they’ve filed in the PA Supreme Court case to support the paid sick days ordinance City Council passed in 2015. Women’s advocates, health care providers, labor unions, religious leaders, community groups, medical associations, and public health organizations also appeared as amici curiae or friends of the court in asking the PA Supreme Court to allow this critical law to take effect.

Pittsburgh’s inability to enact paid sick days legislation is particularly alarming during this year’s severe flu epidemic. During the 2009 flu pandemic, the CDC estimated that infected employees who went to work caused an additional 7 million cases of flu, leading to 1,500 deaths. Today, as the 2018 flu outbreak claims up to 4,000 Americans per week, Pittsburgh’s inability to implement paid sick days as a proven disease control strategy puts all city residents in peril.

A lack of paid sick days also poses an enormous economic burden on low-wage workers, who are overwhelmingly women and people of color. There are an estimated 49,000 Pittsburgh workers who lack paid sick leave and face an impossible choice – bring home a paycheck for their families or take the time they need to recover from an illness. When working people have no choice but to go to work sick, they risk infecting others and delay seeking care.

Now, the PA Supreme Court has the chance to restore to Pittsburgh the ability to take preventative action to avoid potentially grave public health consequences–during this flu season, and beyond.

What:        PA Supreme Court Paid Sick Days Press Conference
Who:         Mayor Bill Peduto, Councilman Corey O’Connor, Women’s Law Project, Pittsburgh United
When:       Thursday, February 15 – 9:30am
Where:      Pittsburgh City County Building, 414 Grant Street, 5th Fl, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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