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Did You Know? Required Sick Leave Takes Effect

Allegheny County Council recently passed the Allegheny County Sick Leave Ordinance. The new rules require covered employers to allow up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave to eligible employees. The ordinance is now in effect, but fines for violations have been suspended until Dec. 15, 2022.  

Who does this apply to?  

Covered employers include any public or private entity located in or doing business within Allegheny County. However, only employers with 26 or more employees (whether on or off site) are required to provide paid leave. All employees, excluding the owner, are included in the count. Part-time employees are counted as one employee rather than as a fraction of an employee.  

Who is eligible?  

The ordinance applies to all part- and full-time employees performing paid services for the employer within Allegheny County. Independent contractors, state and federal employees and seasonal employees are not eligible. 

How do benefits accrue? 

As of Dec. 15, 2021, current employees must be permitted to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked within Allegheny County, up to 40 hours in a calendar year. Employees hired after Dec. 15 begin accruing leave as of their date of hire. Employees must be allowed to carry over accrued, unused paid sick leave from one calendar year to the next. However, employers are not required to permit leave to carry over if an employer allows 40 hours of paid sick leave at the start of a calendar year. 

When can sick leave be used? 

Eligible employees may use accrued sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day following their date of employment. So, if an employee is hired on March 1, he or she may start using sick leave on May 29. 

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