The City of Pittsburgh has announced that starting early in 2024, the Office of Equal Protection (OEP) will begin “strict enforcement” of the City’s Paid Sick Days Act, including conducting compliance investigations of companies in the City. The OEP has categorized the procession of investigations by ZIP code, with current focus on food service businesses. Employers deemed noncompliant are fined $100 dollars in addition to restitution. The OEP has also provided a form, found here, that enables employees to file complaints directly to the OEP if their employers violate the Act.

Under the Paid Sick Days Act, employers are required to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave per 35 hours worked within the City’s limits. The accrual of paid sick leave caps at 40 hours per calendar year for employers with 15 or more employees and at 24 hours per calendar year for employers with fewer than 15 employees. The hours may roll over into the following calendar year. The employer may opt to provide all 40 hours at the beginning of the calendar year; in this case, the hours will not roll over to the following calendar year. Accepted uses of paid sick leave include an employee’s or family member’s illness or need for medical care; closure of an employer’s workplace due to a publish health emergency; and employee’s need to care for their child if the child’s school or place of care has been closed due to public health emergency; and an employee’s need to take care of a family member if the family member’s condition jeopardizes the health of the community. An employee who wishes to use their paid sick leave must notify their employer of the anticipated length absence to the best of their ability. Employers must provide notice of the Act to their employees and keep records for two years.

Allegheny County’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which took effect in December of 2021, has requirements that are similar to the City of Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Days Act.  Employers with 26 or more employees must provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave per 35 hours worked within the County, up to a cap of 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Fines and impositions for violations began on December 15th of 2022. Employers must provide notice of the Allegheny County Ordinance. Other requirements and terms governing the Allegheny County Ordinance can be found in the Paid Sick Leave FAQs on the Allegheny County Website.

Under both the City and County paid sick leave laws, if an employer provides paid time off that meets or exceeds the laws’ requirements, the employer does not have to offer additional sick time.

If you have questions regarding how the City of Pittsburgh and/or Allegheny County’s paid sick leave laws may apply to your company, please contact Rachel Felton, Neva Stotler, or other members of our employment law team.

This article should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and legal questions.

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