Philadelphia Enacts Paid Sick Leave

Written by: Natalie Klyashtorny

Last month, Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law legislation approved by City Council which will require most employers doing business in the City of Philadelphia to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

The new law, which is scheduled to take effect several months from now, applies to all businesses in the City of Philadelphia which employ 10 or more employees. Employees will accrue at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, or approximately 5 days per year.

Councilman William K. Greenlee, who introduced the legislation, said the new law will benefit approximately 200,000 Philadelphians, or about 40% of the City’s workforce who currently do not receive paid sick leave.

Workers will be able to use paid sick leave for their own illnesses or those of family members or to deal with domestic violence or sexual assault. The new law excludes from coverage independent contractors, seasonal workers, adjunct professors, interns, government employees, and workers covered by collective-bargaining agreements.

Employers that violate the law will be subject to fines, penalties, and restitution.

16 other cities and 3 states have similar laws and President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass similar federal legislation.