Implementation of Philly’s new paid sick leave policy begins on Wednesday, May 13.
Many eligible workers aren’t aware that they are now entitled to earn paid sick time. An estimated 200,000 Philly workers, or 40% of Philly’s workforce, didn’t receive paid sick leave prior to implementation of the policy, according to a 2014 report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Paid Sick Leave.
“For years, advocates for Philly paid sick leave fought to get this legislation passed, said Kati Sipp, director of PA Working Families. “The tremendous amount of hard work put into this has finally paid off, and it will make Philly a better place to work.”
“Nobody should risk losing their job if they get sick or have to care for a sick family member. Our Philly government is finally standing up for workers, granting them a benefit that every working person should have.”
Philadelphia has issued an informative poster to spread the word.
Here’s what workers and employers should know about the new policy:
- Employees are eligible to earn 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours they work.
- Employers with 10 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave.
- Employers with 9 or fewer employees are required to provide unpaid sick leave. [Of course, nothing in the law stops them from offering paid sick leave, as well.]
- A maximum of 40 sick time hours may be earned in a calendar year. Accrued sick time may be used after an employee has worked a minimum of 90 days. Accrual begins May 13, 2015 for all current employees.
- Earned sick time can be used for the employee’s own health needs, to care for a family member or for leave due to domestic abuse or sexual assault.
If an employer refuses to provide earned sick time or retaliates against employees for utilizing sick time, the employee can make a formal complaint to the City of Philadelphia’s Sick Leave Agency after September 2015.