On August 3, 2015, the Pittsburgh City Council amended the city’s code to add the “Paid Sick Days Act.” The Act, which will become effective on January 11, 2016, is expected to benefit more than 49,000 employees. The Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide its employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of paid sick leave per year. For employers with less than 15 employees, the Act requires up to 24 hours of unpaid sick leave for the first year after the ordinance becomes effective. After January 11, 2017, employers with less than 15 employees will be have to provide their employees with up to 24 hours of paid sick time. The Act allows employees to take leave to care for their own illness or to care for their spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent or sibling. The Act does not provide mandatory sick leave for state and federal employees, members of a construction union covered by a collective bargaining agreement, or seasonal employees or employees who already receive paid sick leave equivalent to that contained in the Act.
Pittsburgh joins Philadelphia to become the second major city in Pennsylvania to require paid sick leave for its employees. Philadelphia passed a similar ordinance in February 2015 which requires employers with 10 or more employees to provide employees with 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours of work.