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City of Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act Effective March 15, 2020

December 17, 2019

The City of Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (“Act”) will take effect on March 15, 2020. Covered employers will be required to provide sick leave to their employees pursuant to the newly-published guidelines, which were released with the announcement of the Act’s effective date.  The Act was initially passed in August 2015, but its implementation was stayed pending challenges to the City’s authority to enact the Act. On July 17, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Act was lawful. For more information about the Act’s four-year court battle, see Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Leave Law Suffers Another Legal DefeatBattle Not Over and New City of Pittsburgh Employment Laws.

The Act provides all covered employees, who work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh, with the right to earn sick leave, depending on the size of the employer. Generally, private employers with 15 or more employees must provide employees with at least one hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Private employers with less than 15 employees must provide employees with at least one hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked, up to 24 hours per year. For employers with less than 15 employees, sick time may be unpaid until March 15, 2021, but any time accrued after March 15, 2021, must be paid. Employers may choose to designate a higher accrual amount.  

Under the Act, employees must begin accruing sick leave on March 15, 2020, or upon the employee’s first day of employment if hired thereafter. The Act designates authorized uses for earned sick leave, such as personal illness or injury, or to care for a family member’s illness or injury. 

Employers with employees working within the City of Pittsburgh should review their current sick leave and paid time off policies and consult their attorney to ensure compliance with the leave and accrual requirements of the Act before its effective date.

If you have any questions about your obligations regarding paid sick leave, contact Amy McCrossen at (412) 394-7743 ǀ, or another member of Clark Hill’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. 

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