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Philadelphia Adopts Paid Sick Leave For Some Employees

Posted on February 12, 2015 at 8:55 PM


The Philadelphia City Council enacted an ordinance to provide paid sick leave for some Philadelphia employees. The new law is designed to provide relief to the estimated 35-40% of Philadelphia workers who currently have no paid sick time.  It provides one hour of paid sick leave per 40 hours of work and applies to businesses with at least 10 employees. The law is scheduled to take effect in 90 days. The Mayor’s Task Force Recommended the following:

 

Reasons for Usage

Sick leave should be available to employees for their own injury, medical care, and health conditions, as well as those of family members, including children, spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings (including foster, step, and in-law relationships). In addition, employees should be able to use sick leave as "safe days" to seek treatment, legal services, or relocation in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

Accrual Rate and Maximum Accrual Amounts

Employees should earn one hour of paid sick leave per 40 hours worked and may accrue up to 40 hours per a rolling 12-month period of employment.

 

Wait Period for Use and Accrual

Employees should begin earning sick leave hours for any work completed upon the commencement of their employment, but may use earned leave 90 days after that. Earned leave may be used in the smaller of hourly increments or the smallest increment permitted by an employer’s payroll system.

 

Existing Employer Policies

Employers should not change existing policies or provide additional leave if the existing policy satisfies or exceeds the accrual requirements and can be used under the same conditions.

 

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Paid sick leave subject to collective bargaining agreements should be excluded from the paid sick mandate.

 

Federal Employees

Government employees are excluded from the paid sick mandate.

 

No Pay for Unused Hours

No compensation should be provided for any earned and unused time at separation from employment.

 

Record-Keeping Requirements

Employers should keep records documenting hours worked, earned time accrued, and sick time taken by employees for a two-year period.

 

Compliance

Enforcement of the ordinance should be complaint driven. Employers should cooperate with complaint investigations and be given a reasonable grace period to correct the violation before any fines are levied. It appears that the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) within the Commerce Department will be identified as the compliance and enforcement body for the paid sick leave bill.

 

Abuse

Employers may require reasonable documentation for sick leave use. The employee should provide notice as soon as practicable and comply with the employer’s reasonable, normal notification policies and/or call-in procedures, provided that such requirements do not interfere with the purposes for which leave is needed.

 

Monitoring and Review of Ordinance

The City should complete a periodic review of any enacted paid sick leave ordinance to assess compliance, number of employers included, and impact on employers every two years for the first four years following enactment.

Categories: Employment Law

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