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Comcast opposes benefits of Pennsylvania bill

The Philadelphia City Council recently passed a bill that would mandate employers in the city to offer paid sick days to employees although it would exempt small businesses with fewer than six employees. However, the mayor refused to sign similar legislation in 2011, and many think his views haven't changed.

In the unlikely event that the bill does pass, the city would become the fifth largest city in the nation to approve such a law. The major cable company Comcast, which has more than 6,000 employees, is fighting passage of the bill although it offers employees paid sick days. The media giant is a major political force in the city, and it received a 95-percent tax break for building the 58-story Comcast Center. Local political experts wonder about its motives. The bill could also negatively impact worker's compensation and other benefits.

One city council member speculated that Comcast's opposition seems to carry an overall tone of refusal to comply with mandatory laws. The company insists the bill makes administration a headache and places a heavy financial burden on them. They added that employees are happy with the benefits package that the company offers.

One union activist explained that although Comcast offers sick days, the company penalizes employees who use that benefit and offers extra incentives for those who do not use sick time. Enforcing the bill means that an employee would need to file a complaint against the company.

While employees could see increased sick-day benefits if the bill passes, employers could compensate by decreasing benefits in other areas, such as worker's compensation. Worker's compensation attorneys might be able to help people in Pennsylvania fight for their benefits.

Source: Beyond Chron, "Paid Sick Days Bill Has Unexpected Opponent: Comcast," Mike Elk, March 22, 2013

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