Paid Sick Days Act Passed in Pittsburgh

By: Maddie Shesko, HR Generalist

Paid sick time has been a widely debated topic for a long time. In December of 2019, it was announced that Pittsburgh would enact a new law for paid sick leave. The Paid Sick Days Act was created to improve the lives of Pittsburgh employees by giving paid sick time for those who are eligible. Although this is a great step forward for many reasons, it also becomes complicated for business owners. Who will be affected by the new act and who won't be?

The Act's effects will begin in March of 2020. Make sure you know what is required of your business.

Requirements for eligibility

To be eligible for The Paid Sick Time Act, employees must work a minimum of 35 hours and the employees must work in the boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh.

Keep in mind, this is not 35 hours per week, this is 35 hours total. After working 35 hours, the employer is required to give one hour of paid sick leave. The sick leave hours will be capped at 24 or 40 hours, depending on the size of the organization.

How many hours will a business be required to provide?

The requirement for the number of hours a business must provide will be contingent upon the number of full-time employees. Employers with fewer than 15 employees are only required to give up to 24 hours of sick time. Employers with over 15 employees will be required to give 40 hours per year. This act will be effective March 15, 2020 and will remain in effect until it is revoked or cancelled. Businesses will have a 90-day grace period to be in compliance with the new act. After the grace period, employers will likely be fined for being out of compliance.

Will this affect all businesses?

The new law will not affect all businesses. According to the guidelines from the City of Pittsburgh, any employer that gives above the new thresholds of paid leave is not required to provide additional sick time. This act is only for organizations that do not give paid sick leave to their employees. This act will also give the part-time employees working within the City of Pittsburgh paid sick leave. The businesses this will routinely affect will be part-time employees. Employees will meet the minimum requirements even if they are just working a day a week.

How to calculate paid sick leave?

Employers can calculate the paid sick leave by following the formula of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. For example, if a part-time employee works 20 hours per week, they would earn about 30 hours of sick leave for the year. Remember, if your organization has under 15 employees, you are only required to provide 24 hours of sick time.

Employee Handbook

If the new law will affect your business, this is a great time to update your existing employee handbook. You can include the requirements, the formula, and the total number of hours a person can accrue. Additionally, if your organization still doesn't have an employee handbook, this is a good reminder of the importance of having one.

If you need further assistance or would like to discuss the effects of the new law, feel free to reach out to our Human Resources department at 412-882-5383.

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