March 4, 2015 - Philadelphia Enacts Sick Leave Ordinance


Last week, Mayor Nutter signed into law Philadelphia’s new “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” ordinance. The ordinance, which will take effect May 13, 2015, has components which affect all employers with Philadelphia workers.

First, the ordinance requires private employers with 10 or more employees to offer paid sick leave and employers with fewer than 10 employees to offer unpaid sick leave. An employer meets the threshold for paid leave if it has 10 or more employees for at least forty (40) weeks in a calendar year. Notably, all employees – full-time, part-time and temporary – count for this purpose. Also covered by the ordinance are “chain establishments” regardless of the number of employees. A “chain establishment” is one doing business under the same trade name used by 15 or more establishments, regardless of whether all of those establishments are located in Philadelphia and regardless of the ownership of each establishment.

“Employee,” in turn, is defined to mean an individual performing work in the City of Philadelphia for at least 40 hours a year. Specifically excluded from the definition of “employee” are “independent contractors, seasonal workers, adjunct professors, employees hired for a term of less than six months, interns, pool employees, State and Federal employees, and employees covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.” Seasonal workers, interns and pool employees are all narrowly defined terms under the ordinance.

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