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Pittsburgh passes COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Bill

December 10, 2020

By Noah R. Jordan, Esquire

On Tuesday December 8, 2020, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously approved a bill requiring all employers within the City of Pittsburgh with 50 or more employees to provide their employees who have worked for at least 90 days with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, depending on how many hours they normally work in a week.  Employees who work at least 40 hours in a week will be provided with 80 hours of COVID sick leave, while employees who work fewer than 40 hours a week will be provided with an amount equal to the average hours worked by that employee in a 14-day period. Covered employers cannot require their employees to use other forms of paid leave before using this new COVID-19 paid sick leave.  This paid leave is separate from, and in addition to, the City of Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Leave Act, which went into effect on March 15, 2020.

The bill takes effect in January 2021, after the expiration of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provided Emergency Paid Sick Leave.  This paid leave will be available to employees who are advised by a physician to stay home due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or caring for a family member who is experiencing such symptoms, who contract COVID-19, or who have to quarantine due to exposure to someone with COVID-19 and as a result are unable to work or telework.

The leave provided under the new Act will cease to be available a week after the City’s public health emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic expires. Certain employees will be exempted from eligibility for the new paid leave, including certain employees covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement which already provides other, sufficient paid leave, and employees of employers who have already, separately provided COVID-19 paid leave that meets the requirements of the new Act.  Amendments to the bill are still being debated by City Council and we will provide updates once those amendments are passed.

If you have questions regarding employment and the Coronavirus, contact us online or call (412) 338-1112.

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