Businesses that have contracts with or receive subsidies from the City of Philadelphia are now required to provide workers with paid sick leave, effective July 1, 2012. The new Ordinance requires these businesses to allow each full-time, non-temporary, and/or non-seasonal employee to accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every forty hours worked, up to a maximum of thirty-two hours a year for businesses with more than five but fewer than eleven employees and fifty-six hours a year for larger employers.

The new Ordinance provision impacts employers defined under the Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard. Examples of covered employers include:

For-profit Service Contractors, which receive or are subcontractors on contract(s) of $10,000.00 or more from the City in a twelve-month period, with annual gross receipts of more than $1,000,000.00.Non-profit Service Contractors which receive or are subcontractors on contract(s) from the City of more than $100,000.00 in a twelve-month period.Recipients of City leases, concessions, or franchises, or subcontractors thereof, which employ more than twenty-five employees.City financial aid recipients for a period of five years following receipt of aid.Public agencies which receive contract(s) for $10,000.00 or more from the City in a twelve-month period.

The new Ordinance may indicate an emerging trend of which employers should be aware. To date, sick leave policies have been left up to the individual private employer or the states to enact. Employers should take the following steps to ensure compliance:

Determine whether the new Ordinance is applicable to your business.If so, review paid and unpaid personal leave policies in your employee handbook.Determine whether and which employees are covered by the new Ordinance.Train and sensitize supervisors and managers regarding compliance and illegality of retaliation.

Experienced Obermayer attorneys are available to answer any questions to ensure full compliance with mandatory paid sick leave requirements.

The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.