Rachel Felton, Attorney at Law

Rachel D. Felton


Posted on September 15, 2015

The City of Pittsburgh has a new paid sick leave Ordinance which will require all employers that are situated or conducting business in Pittsburgh to provide paid sick leave to all full-time and part-time employees who work in the City of Pittsburgh.

Under the Ordinance, employees must be permitted to accrue at least one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked, including overtime. An employer with 15 employees or more is required to allow its employees to accrue a minimum of 40 hours of paid sick time per year. An employer with fewer than 15 employees must permit its employees to accrue a minimum of 24 hours of paid sick time per year.  Additionally, employees must be permitted to carry over accrued paid sick leave from year to year.

The new Ordinance allows employees to use their accrued paid sick time for reasons related to their own mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition. Employees may also use paid sick time in order to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.  Furthermore, an employee will be able to use paid leave to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by public officials as a result of a public health emergency.

Paid sick time must be granted upon an employee’s oral request.  It is the employer’s responsibility to maintain a reasonable notification policy regarding the amount of time recommended for notice and documentation required. Moreover, the employer is obligated to maintain records of the hours worked, sick time accrued, and sick time taken by each employee. Failure to maintain adequate records will create a presumption that the employer has violated the Ordinance.   Any proven violation will result in the imposition of penalties and fines, including restitution to employees who have been adversely affected.

The Ordinance will not take effect until 90 days after the City publishes regulations and model notices. Employers are encouraged to review and revise their current sick leave and paid time off policies proactively.

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