On May 13, 2015, Philadelphia’s paid sick leave ordinance, formally entitled “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces,” becomes effective. In addition to the key provisions of the ordinance requiring certain employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each calendar year, the ordinance requires employers to fulfill posting and notice requirements.

Philadelphia recently issued a Paid Sick Time poster and is encouraging employers to use it to fulfill the posting requirement. Notably, the ordinance’s posting provision requires employers to provide notice by displaying the poster in English as well as in any other language that is the first language spoken by at least 5 percent of the workforce. However, so far, Philadelphia has only released the poster in English. Presumably, employers will be responsible for translating the poster as necessary. The poster must be displayed in a “conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where such employees are employed.” Section 9-4107(2)(b). Employers must also provide notice of employees’ rights under the ordinance in any employee handbook.

The poster indicates that Philadelphia intends to create a new agency, the Sick Leave Agency, to administer the ordinance. After September of 2015, employees may make formal complaints to the Sick Leave Agency against any employer that refuses to provide earned sick time or retaliates against employees for utilizing sick time.

Notably, on April 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 333, which would preempt local governments from enacting laws that require employers to provide employees with leave that is not required by state or federal law. The bill has been referred to the Pennsylvania House Labor & Industry Committee. Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has stated he would veto the Senate bill if it reaches his desk. Further legislative action is unlikely to occur prior to May 13, 2015. Therefore, employers should continue their efforts to comply with Philadelphia’s sick leave ordinance.

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Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation

Managing leaves and reasonably accommodating employees can be complex, frustrating, and expose employers to legal peril. Employers must navigate a bewildering array of state and federal statutes, with seemingly contradictory mandates.

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