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COVID-19: Reminder on Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act
March 18, 2020
Congress appears to have reached an agreement on legislation to provide paid family and medical leave in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the bill still must be signed into law by the President. In the interim, Pittsburgh employers should take note that the City of Pittsburgh has passed legislation that already requires most employers operating in the City to provide for the accrual of minimum amounts of sick leave effective March 15, 2020. How the city ordinance will be affected by federal legislation remains to be seen. 
The city ordinance requires employers to provide covered employees who work at least 35 hours within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh in a calendar year with the opportunity to earn sick time to use for employee healthcare or the healthcare of a family member.
Covered employees may accrue a minimum of one hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked for the employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh. However, the ordinance provides for different accrual caps depending on whether the employer has 15 or more covered employees or fewer than 15. 
  • Covered employees of employers with fewer than 15 employees: During the first year after the effective date, employers are only required to permit the accrual of unpaid sick time to such employees up to 24 hours. 
  • Covered employees of employers with 15 or more employees: Permitted to accrue no more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year.
Employers are free to provide for greater accruals than required by the ordinance, and where existing policies are already more generous than required by the ordinance the employer will be considered to be in compliance.
The ordinance requires employers to post a sign at each worksite that provides notice of employee rights to sick time, available limits, and terms of use. Click here to download sample notice provided by the City.
The City also has published detailed guidelines for implementing the ordinance.
Our COVID-19 Task Force and labor and employment attorneys are available to answer questions and provide assistance with implementation, including revising your existing policies on sick leave. 
Labor & Employment Law Peter R. Rich