Mid-Atlantic Outreach Director Erik Rettig tesitified before the Senate Committee on Labor & Industry to provide the small business perspective on the Pennsylvania Family Medical Leave Act, or Joanne’s Law (SB 479), and its impact on the more than 2.4 million small businesses employees in Pennsylvania. Joanne’s Law would allow eligible employees to use up to six weeks of unpaid leave to care for their sibling, grandparent or grandchild, as long as that person has no living spouse, parent under 65 or child over 17.
Pennsylvania Small Business Owner Highlight
Fifteen years ago, Andrea Deutsch decided to leave her position at a Philadelphia law practice to pursue her dreams of become a small business owner. She opened up a shop in the small town of Narberth, PA called Spot’s—The Place for Paws, where she sells healthy food, treats, toys, and accessories for dogs and cats. Despite starting a new life, this former attorney could not completely sever her ties from the Philadelphia Bar Association. That’s because before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they provided her only health insurance option because of her Type 1 diabetes.
Small business owners nationwide are doing all they can to strengthen their businesses and put the Great Recession’s effects behind them. Now more than ever, it’s critical they have the help of smart employment laws allowing them to attract and retain the best talent. National scientific opinion polling shows the vast majority of small business owners believe we’re long overdue for federal and state policies protecting all workers from discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Small businesses account for a significant share of Pennsylvania’s economy. For every one large business in Pennsylvania, there are 246 small businesses diligently working to reenergize the state’s economy: Small firms make up 98.3% of the state’s employers. These entrepreneurs are doing everything they can to hire, grow and move their businesses and the state’s economy forward. As part of these efforts, recent scientific opinion polling shows that Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs want pragmatic, innovative policies that help guide them into a competitive, modern clean energy economy.
Small business owners in Pennsylvania strongly believe the country needs to move toward clean energy and that new energy policies will transform the economy and help them create new jobs. They support comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation currently being discussed in the US Senate. Support for a climate and energy bill from Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey would be a winner with small business owners back home. A Public Policy Polling survey of 427 small business owners in Pennsylvania, taken between July 2nd and 6th, found that: