The City of Philadelphia has recently issued guidelines
expanding on the recent amendment to its minimum wage and benefit
ordinance, the Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage Standard,
which requires covered employers to provide paid sick leave to all
full-time, non-temporary, non-seasonal employees.
Employers covered under the change include: 1) the City of
Philadelphia and its agencies; 2) for-profit service contractors
that receive or are subcontractors on contracts exceeding $10,000
from the city in a 12-month period; 3) non-profit service
contractors that receive or are subcontractors on contracts from
the city exceeding $100,000 in a 12-month period; 4) recipients of
city leases, concessions, or franchises, or subcontractors thereof,
which employ more than 25 employees; 5) city financial aid
recipients, including any entity receiving direct assistance from
the city via grants, loans, loan guarantees, tax incentives,
in-kind services, waivers of city fees, or real property exceeding
$100,000 in any 12-month period; and 6) public agencies with city
contracts exceeding $10,000 in a 12-month period.
According to the city's recently issued
The ordinance does not apply to employers with fewer than five
employees or subcontractors, although this appears to be
inconsistent with the language of the ordinance itself.
For covered employers with more than five but fewer than 11
employees, employees can receive a maximum of 32 hours of paid sick
time in a calendar year.
For covered employers with 12 or more employees, employees
accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to
56 hours in a calendar year.
Covered employees begin to accrue sick time at the start of
employment and can use it as accrued beginning after the 90th day
Employees may use accrued paid sick time in hourly increments
for their own mental or physical illness, injury, or preventative
care, as well as to care for a family member. However, if the
employer has a policy regarding sick time increments, it may follow
its own policy.
The new provisions provide a private cause of action to
aggrieved employees, with no administrative exhaustion
requirements. A successful plaintiff can recover back pay,
reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages, and
attorneys' fees and costs. Employers must provide notice and
posting of covered employees' rights under the amendment,
although the required manner of posting has not been specified in
All employers that have not yet done so should review their
status in light of the ordinance, and covered employers should
review their current policies to ensure compliance with the new
provisions of the ordinance.
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