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Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Law to Take Effect
The City of Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act will go into effect on March 15, 2020. The Ordinance guarantees an opportunity for covered employees to acquire paid sick time hours.
Accrual of Sick Time
An Employer shall provide each employee at least one hour of Sick Time for every 35 hours worked for the employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh unless the employer designates a higher amount.
Starting one year after the Effective Date, Employees may begin to accrue Paid Sick Time.
- Employees of Employers with 15 or more employees shall accrue a minimum of 1 hour of Paid Sick Time for every 35 hours worked for the Employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh unless the Employer designates a higher amount.
- Employees of Employers with less than 15 employees shall accrue a minimum of 1 hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked for the Employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh unless the Employer designates a higher amount.
Accrual Caps Based on Number of Employees
15 or More Employees – Covered Employees of Employers are permitted to accrue no more than forty 40 hours of Paid Sick Time in a Calendar Year unless the employer designates a higher amount.
15 or Fewer Employees
- Covered Employees of Employers with fewer than 15 employees are permitted to accrue no more than 24 hours of Unpaid Sick Time unless the Employer designates a higher amount for the first year after the effective date.
- After 1 year from the effective date, covered Employees of Employers with fewer than fifteen (15) Employees are permitted to accrue no more than twenty-four (24) hours of Paid Sick Time, unless the Employer designates a higher amount.
Use of Sick Time
The sick time accrued by an employee may be used for:
- An employee’s or employee’s family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; an employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; an employee’s need for preventive medical care;
- Closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or an employee’s need to care for a child on the closing of school or place of care or family member due to a public health emergency.
An oral request shall be provided to the employer by the employee upon the use of sick time. The request shall include the anticipated duration of the absence when possible.
Carry Forward of Unused Leave
Employees must be allowed to roll over accumulated, unused sick time from year to year. As an alternative to rollover of accrued, but unused paid sick time, an employer may carry forward the accrual amount to the beginning of the calendar year.
Employers must notify employees of the rights provided to them under the Act, including their right to sick time, the amount of sick time available to them, and the terms surrounding permissible sick-time use.
Payment for Sick Time Use
The law requires employers to pay for leave at an employee’s base rate of pay with the same benefits, including health care benefits, an employee receives when working, which cannot be less than the state minimum wage.
Notice and Posting Requirements
The guidelines create a posting requirement that mirrors the Ordinance’s written notice requirement. Employers must both provide notice to their employees and post at every worksite (in English, Spanish, and any other primary languages of the employees at the particular workplace) a written notice of employees’ entitlement to paid sick time.
*Covered Employee – means an individual employed by an employer who performs work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh for at least 35 hours in a Calendar Year. The term does not include independent contractors, State or Federal employees, any member of a construction union covered by a collective bargaining unit, or Seasonal Employees. The guidelines state that employees employed outside the city who travel to and perform work in Pittsburgh are covered, and the portion of their regular travel time in the city counts as hours worked.