On September 14, 2021, the Allegheny County Council passed the Allegheny County Sick Leave Ordinance (“the Ordinance”). The new paid leave rules will require covered employers to allow up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave to eligible employees. The Ordinance was effective as of December 15, 2021, with fines for violations suspended until December 15, 2022.
Covered employers are defined broadly to include any entity (public or private) situated or doing business within Allegheny County which employs at least one or more compensated employees. Only employers with 26 or more employees (performing services anywhere) are required to provide paid leave. In making this determination, all employees, excluding the owner(s) should be counted. Part-time employees should be counted as one employee rather than as a fraction of an employee.
The Ordinance applies to all part-time and full-time employees performing compensated services for the employer within Allegheny County. Independent contractors, state and federal employees and seasonal employees and members of a construction labor union covered by a collective bargaining agreement are not eligible.
Beginning December 15, 2021, current employees must be permitted to accrue at least one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked within Allegheny County, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave in a calendar year. Employees hired after December 15, 2021, will begin accruing leave as of their date of hire. Employees must be allowed to carry over accrued, unused paid sick leave from one calendar year to the next calendar year; however, employers are not required to permit carryover where the employer front-loads 40 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of each calendar year.
Covered employees may use accrued sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day following their date of employment. Accrued sick leave may be used for any of the following reasons:
Covered employees must request paid sick leave from their employers.
Yes. An employer that provides covered employees with other forms of paid sick leave, such as PTO, that meets the requirements of the Ordinance (including accruals, reasons for leave, and other conditions) will not be required to provide additional paid sick leave.
Yes. Employers must give written notice (in English, Spanish, and any other primary language used in the workplace) to covered employees. This notice must include:
This notice should be displayed in a conspicuous and accessible location at the worksite or, if working remotely, the notice may be provided on an individualized basis in the employees’ primary language in a physical or electronic format that is reasonably conspicuous and accessible.
A sample notice can be found on the website.
Employers must keep records documenting the number of hours worked and paid sick time taken by employees for two (2) years.
Employers should choose a reasonable system for providing notification of accrued sick leave. Suggested methods include making accrued leave available on pay stubs or in an online system that is accessible by covered employees.
Failure to adhere to the recordkeeping requirements will result in a presumption that the employer has violated the Ordinance (absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary).
Covered employers should:
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