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City Council panel backs bill for unpaid leave

Domestic violence victims would be entitled to as many as eight weeks of unpaid leave from work - four if they work for small businesses - under a bill introduced by City Councilman William K. Greenlee and recommended for approval by a Council committee yesterday.

The bill, which was approved by Council's Law and Government Committee, is opposed by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, which says small businesses could be devastated by such requirements. The Nutter administration is also against it, saying it wanted more time to study the economic impact of the bill.

Deputy Commerce Director Duane Bumb said the mandatory leave could put Philadelphia at a competitive disadvantage with the suburban municipalities that do not have such a requirement.

Council will consider a sunset clause on the bill, enacting it for one year and looking at its effects on business during that time. The bill could come up for final passage as early as June 19.

- Jeff Shields