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Allegheny County passes paid sick leave

September 21, 2021

On September 14, 2021, Allegheny County Council voted to pass Article XXIV requiring employers with 26 or more employees to provide paid sick leave. Employees can accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked in Allegheny County and cannot accrue more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year. Employers may of course exceed these requirements by allowing more accrual hours and/or a faster rate of accrual. Employees may begin to use accrued sick leave time after 90 days from the start of their employment.

Employers with a paid leave policy or a collective bargaining agreement that already meets the standards set forth above are not required to provide additional sick leave.

The leave may be used

  • for the employee’s personal physical or mental health medical care;
  • for the care of a family member; or
  • if the employee’s place of business is closed due to a public health emergency, the employee’s child’s school or day care is closed due to a public health emergency, or to care for a family member if health officials have determined that a family member presence in the community would jeopardize others due to a communicable disease.

Employers are required to provide written notice of paid sick leave to their employees and keep records for two years. Violations will be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each offense. Article XXIV also includes protections against discrimination and retaliation for employees who exercise their right to take leave under the new policy.

The benefit shall become available 90 days after it is approved by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

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