To the extent an organization has not already done so, the referenced poster should be posted and be available to all covered employees.

Philadelphia's mandatory sick leave ordinance, "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," goes into effect on May 13, 2015. In connection with its enactment, the City of Philadelphia has now issued a mandatory poster.

As we previously reported in an earlier Duane Morris Alert, the ordinance requires employers with 10 or more employees to permit eligible employees to accrue at least one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked in Philadelphia, up to a maximum of 40 hours per calendar year. Smaller employers must provide unpaid sick time in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance. Eligible employees will have significant flexibility to use their accrued sick leave under this new law. Sick leave may be used for:

  • An employee's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition (including diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive medical care);
  • To care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition (including diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive medical care); and
  • Missed work time due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking, provided the leave is to allow the employee to obtain medical attention, services from a victim services organization, psychological or other counseling, relocation, or legal services or remedies (including preparing for or participating in legal proceedings) for the employee or the employee's family member.

The ordinance also addresses the manner in which sick leave accrues and employer recordkeeping requirements, as well as provides that employers may not retaliate against employees for their use of sick leave. Employers are permitted to utilize their existing paid time off policies where they provide benefits that are at least equal to that provided under the ordinance.

To the extent an organization has not already done so, the referenced poster should be posted and be available to all covered employees. Further, employers should review current paid time off and sick leave policies to determine if they currently meet the requirements of the new law, and if not, revisions should be made to those policies to bring them into compliance. In particular, policies should address employee eligibility, the amount of accrual and carry over and the circumstances for which sick leave may be used, as well as payment upon cessation of employment. The law also requires employees to be notified that retaliation for use of sick leave is prohibited and that they have a right to file a complaint or bring a civil action for a violation of their rights under the law.

Although ambiguous, the ordinance appears to suggest that there is both a posting requirement and an obligation to distribute these terms in a policy to employees (including in any handbook distributed to employees).