Paid Sick Leave Required in the City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia will require employers to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year. The law is effective starting May 13, 2015. 

The law covers employers with employees in the City of Philadelphia. Employers with fewer than 10 covered employees do not have to provide paid sick leave, but do have to allow employees to take unpaid leave. Employees who work at least 40 hours per year in the city are covered by the law, but employees hired for less than six months, interns, independent contractors and adjunct professors are excluded.   

Employers must allow for the accrual of 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked in the city. Employees must be given the right to accrue up to 40 hours of sick time per year. Unused amounts may be carried over to a subsequent year, unless the employer provides 40 hours at the start of the year. Accrued sick leave may be taken beginning on the 90th day of employment. Leave may be taken in the smaller of hourly increments or the smallest increment that the employer uses to account for absences or use of other time. There is a written notice requirement for covered employees. 

The accrued time may be used for

  • Care for an employee’s own mental or physical illness, need for medical diagnosis or treatment, or preventive medical care;
  • Care for a family member;
  • Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking where the employee needs medical attention, services from a victim service organization, psychologist or other counseling, including legal services.

An employer may require reasonable documentation if the employee uses sick time for more than two days in a row. 

All employers with employees working in Philadelphia should review their leave leave policies to make sure they comply with the new law.  

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