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Pittsburgh City Council passes paid sick leave law

August 04, 2015

On August 3, 2015, by a 7-1 vote, the Pittsburgh City Council voted to amend the Pittsburgh Code by adding a new section entitled, “Paid Sick Days Act.”  The City’s stated purpose for this amendment is to improve the public health by granting paid sick time to employees working in the boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh.

The law, which Mayor Bill Peduto plans to sign, will require businesses that employ 15 or more employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick time per year.  Employers with less than 15 employees must provide their employees up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year.  An employee may use sick leave his/her own illness or injury or to care for the employee’s spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, grandparent, or sibling.

The law does not apply to seasonal employees, employers who already offer paid leave that is equivalent to the ordinance, or employees covered by collective bargaining agreements that provide equal benefits.

Although challenges to this new law are expected, Pittsburgh businesses should start looking at their current paid sick time policies for purposes of compliance and, if not compliant, how to update their policies so that they are ready to roll them out once the new law becomes effective.  Once the Mayor signs the amendment, the law will take effect 90 calendar days after the City publishes all materials relevant to compliance with the law and makes such materials available through the City’s website.

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