COVID-19 paid leave is back in Philadelphia
COVID-19 paid leave is back in Philadelphia

COVID-19 paid leave is back in Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Council recently passed a third iteration of Emergency law for public health law that will guarantee up to forty hours of paid sick leave for Philadelphia employees to recover from COVID-19 or avoid exposing others, to care for a family member with COVID-19, or who exhibit symptoms that may bring others health at risk of caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19, or of taking time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster syringe (and to address any adverse reactions related to such vaccination ).

Key questions

Which employers are affected? The requirements of the bill apply to any employer with at least twenty-five employees. An “employee” is defined as “a person (s) working for [an] [e]employer in Philadelphia after the effective date [the] ordinance, (ii) who normally works for it [e]employer in Philadelphia but currently teleworking from any other location due to COVID-19, or (iii) [who] working for it [e]employer from multiple locations or from mobile locations, provided 51 percent or more of such employee time is present in the city of Philadelphia. “The bill covers all employees who are expected to report physically to their jobs.

When does the leave start to run? Leave begins to run immediately after the bill is signed into law. In other words, there are no qualifying or earning requirements.

How much leave should be given? If an employee works forty hours or more per week, he or she is entitled to forty hours of leave, unless the employer sets a higher limit. If an employee works less than forty hours in a week, “COVID-19 leave shall be granted in an amount equal to the period [e]an employee is otherwise scheduled to work or actually work on average for a 7-day period, whichever is greater. “

If an employee’s schedule varies from week to week, the bill provides guidance for calculating COVID-19 leave hours based on the average number of daily hours the employee has had over the past 90 working days.

When does the law expire? Following its adoption, the law expires on December 31, 2023.

What is the wage rate? Legislation requires covered employers to pay employees their normal wages along with their regular benefits.

What about employees who perform the majority of their work tasks through teleworking? An employer is not obliged to change existing policies or grant additional paid leave to such teleworkers if the employer’s existing policy gives such teleworkers at least eighty hours of paid leave in 2022 and if such paid leave can be used for the same purpose and under all the same conditions as COVID-19 leave.

Is notice required? Employees are required to “notify their employer of the need for COVID-19 leave as practically as possible and as soon as possible,” but only when the need is foreseeable. Employers are required to notify the provisions of the bill to

Employer Takeaways

COVID-19 leave is a supplement to all other paid leave benefits offered by an employer and cannot be reduced by the amount of paid leave an employee has previously received. In addition, it is prohibited for employers to require an employee to use other paid leave available to the employee before the employee is entitled to use COVID-19 leave.

By law, an employer must have a paid leave policy that provides 120 hours or more of time off in 2022, regardless of whether such leave is specifically designed as sick leave and can be used for the same purpose and under the same conditions as COVID. -19 leave, is not obliged to change its leave policy.

Mayor Jim Kenney signed the bill on March 9th.

Janice G. Dubler and Brandon R. Sher are attorneys at Ogletree Deakins, Philadelphia. © 2022 Ogletree Deakins. All rights reserved. Re-posted with permission.


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