Philadelphia COVID-19 Paid Leave Ordinance
In response to the expiration of the 2020 Public Health Emergency Leave ordinance on December 31, 2020, on March 29, 2021, Philadelphia enacted Bill #210122-A (the “2021 PHEL”) on March 29, 2021, which immediately required certain employers to provide emergency health leave in connection with COVID-19. Under the new Philadelphia COVID-19 paid leave ordinance, businesses with at least 50 employees must provide additional paid time off to employees who have worked for the business for at least 90 days.
To be eligible for leave under the 2021 PHEL, an employee must have worked for an employer with 50 or more workers for 90 or more days and work in Philadelphia; normally work in Philadelphia but currently telecommute from outside Philadelphia, or work from multiple or mobile locations but spend 51% of the time working in Philadelphia.
However, if an employer has a unionized workforce, a bona fide collective bargaining agreement may waive the 2021 PHEL’s requirements if the agreement: (a) includes an explicit waiver in clear and unmistakable terms; (b) provides a comparable paid leave benefit; and (c) is in effect contractually.
Amount Of Leave
Under the 2021 PHEL, qualified employees who work at least 40 hours a week are entitled to up to 80 hours of leave. Qualified employees working up to 40 hours per week receive an amount equal to the amount of time they are scheduled to work or work on average in a 14-day period, whichever is greater unless the employer provides a greater amount. For employees with changing schedules, leave time is calculated as the average number of hours the employee was scheduled to work over the past 90 days multiplied by 14.
Leave is available for the qualified employee for use if the employee is:
- Caring for themselves or a family member diagnosed with, exposed to, or showing symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether a formal diagnosis has been made;
- Caring for themselves or a family member isolating due to a public quarantine order or advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider due to COVID-19-related concerns;
- Caring for a child whose school or place of care has closed, or whose childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19; or
- Obtaining or recovering from a COVID-19 vaccine.
Employers are required to provide notice to their employees of eligibility for leave under the 2021 PHEL. Furthermore, employees do not need to use all entitled time at once and may use hourly increments.
How Can OGC Solutions Help You
As a result of this ordinance, Philadelphia employers should review and update their policies to reflect this additional leave entitlement. Santomassimo Davis LLP specializes in being the premier Outside General Counsel™ to mid-cap businesses. For help with these issues or to learn more about the Outside General Counsel™ solution, please contact us below.