The Philadelphia City Council recently passed legislation that would require certain businesses to provide eligible employees paid sick leave. “The Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law,” will go into effect on July 1, 2012.
The Sick Leave Law mandates that Philadelphia employees accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Businesses with 11 or more full-time employees are required to allow up to seven paid sick days, or 56 hours, per calendar year. Businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees will be required to allow up to four days, or 32 hours. While employers, of course, are allowed to select a higher limit, they are not allowed to offer less than the minimum.
If an employee fails to use all of their allotted sick time in a calendar year, the paid time must carry over to the following calendar year. Employees may use paid sick time for themselves or for the care of a family member.
Employees must be notified of the following by either a letter or posting in a conspicuous and accessible place:
- their entitlement to paid sick time, the amount of paid sick time, and the terms of its use
- the provision barring retaliation against employees who request or use paid sick time
- the right to file a complaint or bring a civil action if sick time is denied or if the employee is retaliated against for requesting or taking paid sick time
Employers also must document hours worked by employees and their use of sick time for five years.
Employers subject to the legislation may apply for a waiver of this requirement to the City’s Office of Labor Standards. Additionally, a collective bargaining agreement may waive some or all of the new paid leave requirements.
According to Wes Bridges, a partner at Becker Meisel, “the new Sick Leave Law will add substantial responsibilities and costs to covered Employers.”