In 2015, the City of Pittsburgh enacted the Paid Sick Days Act (the “Act”). The Act requires all private employers within the City of Pittsburgh to provide paid sick leave benefits to all full or part-time employees under the following guidelines:
• Employers with 15 or more employees must provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.
• Employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide workers with up to 24 hours of sick time per year. This requirement may be unpaid for the first year after the Act becomes effective. The sick time must be paid time after the first year.
There are exclusions:
• State and federal employees
• Independent contractors
• Construction union members covered by a collective bargaining agreement
• Seasonal employees (those working 16 weeks or less who are told their start and end dates when that are first hired.)
The act was supposed to take effect in 2016. However, a series of court challenges initially invalidated the Act and ultimately the validity of the Act was brought to the attention of the PA Supreme Court.
On July 17, 2019, the PA Supreme Court reinstated the Act.
What does this mean for Pittsburgh employers?
Employers should consider the Act as being in effect. Prior to the lower court rulings, the City posted notice and promulgated rules, meeting the requirements for the effectiveness of the Act. While retroactive application is unlikely, employers should consider the Act reinstated and in effective now.
Given the recent developments impacting the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act, it is critical that employers with Pittsburgh-based employees immediately review their policies and practices for compliance with their obligations under the Act. There are also additional provisions to consider beyond the general paid sick time requirements.
For additional details, please see the blog entry posted by Reed Smith’s Employment and Law Practice attorneys.
Keep in mind that the Act establish minimums. Any employer whose existing paid leave policy provides the functional equivalent or greater benefits or protections will be in compliance with the Act.
The Act will impact employers in ways large and small. We again urge all employers with Pittsburgh-based employees to immediately review their policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance.