United States: Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Ordinance: Notices Published And January Effective Date Set

Last Updated: October 19 2015
Article by Mark T. Phillis

When the City of Pittsburgh enacted the Paid Sick Days Ordinance in August 2015, it delayed the effective date until the City Controller's Office posted regulations and notice information for employers.1 The Controller's Office published the required notices and a series of FAQs on October 12, 2015.2 As a result, the Paid Sick Days Ordinance will take effect January 11, 2016.

Overview of the Ordinance

Under the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Ordinance, employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours they work (including overtime hours) in Pittsburgh. Employees of employers with 15 or more employees can accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. Employees of employers with fewer than 15 employees can accrue up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year. In the initial year, employees of employers with fewer than 15 employees will accrue only unpaid sick time rather than paid sick time. Now that the effective date is known, employees will begin accruing paid sick time on January 11, 2016, but employees are not entitled to take paid sick time until 90 days later, or April 10, 2016.

The Required Notices

The Controller's Office issued two notices that employers are required to post in order to comply with the notice requirements of the Ordinance. Employers must use the actual notices published by the Controller's Office or face a fine.

The notices may create some confusion. Employers may, therefore, want to explain the details of the Ordinance in either their existing paid time off (PTO) or sick pay policy or in a separate policy to supplement the summary of the law provided in the official notices. For example, the "Pittsburgh Paid Sick Time" notice describes the rate of pay for paid sick time differently than does the Ordinance. The Ordinance states that paid sick time is to be paid at the "same base rate of pay" that an employee would have earned at the time s/he uses paid sick time. The required notice states, "Employees must be paid at least their same hourly rate." This difference may lead some employees to misunderstand how their paid sick time will be calculated. For example, if employees use paid sick time during a shift in which they are earning overtime, they may believe they are entitled to receive sick pay at their overtime rate instead of their base rate. In addition, the "Notice to Employees" fails to explain that employees who are employed by employers with fewer than 15 people only accrue unpaid sick time rather than paid sick time.

The Ordinance directs the Controller's Office to provide "multilingual informational materials" about the availability of paid sick time. The Controller's Office has not yet published any such materials. Employers should monitor the Controller's Office's website in order to obtain the required notices and other materials in other languages when they are posted.

The Controller's Office published FAQs instead of formal regulations. Unfortunately, the FAQs provide no new information nor do they clarify anything in the Ordinance. They simply summarize the Ordinance in a Q&A format.

What Should Employers Do to Prepare?

Employers who have employees who work in Pittsburgh, even irregularly, should take steps to comply with the Ordinance now. If an employer's existing PTO or sick policies do not comply with all of the requirements of the Ordinance, the employer will be found to have violated the Ordinance. As discussed in detail in our August 6, 2015 Insight, the Ordinance contains very specific requirements with respect to the accrual rate, the carryover of unused time, the reinstatement of accrued sick pay time for rehired employees, the increments in which leave may be taken, and the reasons for taking leave. The Ordinance also restricts an employer's ability to request documentation to verify that the employee used paid sick time for a permissible purpose and prohibits employers from considering time taken for paid sick leave in any absence control policy.

In light of these detailed requirements, employers need to review their PTO or sick pay policies carefully. Many employers will need to decide soon whether they will change their existing PTO or sick policies to incorporate the requirements of the Ordinance or create a separate paid sick leave policy and leave bank. Employers will also want to consider whether to frontload paid sick time or permit it to be carried over each year, and whether they should adopt formal call-off procedures or modify their existing call-off procedures rather than rely on the default call-off rule in the Ordinance.

Employers must post the required notices on or before January 11, 2016. Employers will want to continue to monitor the Controller's Office website for updated information on the Ordinance, including information in other languages.

A group of local businesses has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Ordinance in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Briefs will not be filed until November, and a final decision on the suit will likely not be made prior to the effective date of the Ordinance.

Given the intricacies of the Ordinance and its impact on human resources policies and payroll practices, employers should plan and prepare now so they can comply with the Ordinance on January 11, 2016.

Footnotes

1 See Mark T. Phillis and Allison R. Brown, Pittsburgh City Council Approves Amended Paid Sick Leave Bill, Littler Insight (Aug. 6, 2015).

2 The two required notices, the FAQs, and a copy of the Ordinance can be found at: http://pittsburghpa.gov/controller-office/psda/overview.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Mark T. Phillis
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.