Paid Leave Roundup: New York City and Philadelphia

Following other action around the country, New York City and Philadelphia in September of 2020 updated their paid leave requirements impacting employers and employees.

October 19, 2020

In September of 2020, New York City and Philadelphia lawmakers amended paid leave requirements impacting employers and employees. New York City expanded its existing paid sick leave (PSL) requirements, while Philadelphia extended supplemental leave during the public health emergency. For more details, see below.

New York City, NY

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) signed Int 2032-2020, effective on September 30, 2020, that requires employers with 100 or more employees to:

  • Permit employees to accrue, use and carry over up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year (up from 40). In 2020 only, employers can restrict paid sick leave to only 40 hours but must allow employees to accrue up to 56 hours.
  • Immediately eliminate the 120-day waiting period for using leave and permit employees to use PSL as it accrues.
  • List on employees’ pay stubs accrued PSL, amount of PSL used and total balance beginning November 30, 2020. Previously, the City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection recommended that this information be included.

Philadelphia, PA

Mayor Jim Kenney (D) signed File Number 200303, effective on September 17, 2020, that requires employers to provide public health emergency leave (PHEL) for immediate use. The law expires on December 31, 2020. The bill mimics other paid leave requirements enacted in many other states and localities by wrapping around the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (for employers with fewer than 500 employees).

Specifically, the bill:

  • Requires employers to provide PHEL to employees working 40 or more hours within the city’s geographic boundaries.
  • Permits full- time employees (defined as working 40 or more hours per week) to receive 80 hours or an amount of leave equal to their average hours worked over a 14-day period, up to a maximum of 112 hours.
  • Permits part-time and variable- hour employees to receive an average amount of leave equal to the number of hours worked during an average 14-day period, with special rules for determining averages for variable- hour employees (see below).
    • A number equal to the average hours the employee worked per day over the 6-month period ending on the date the public health emergency was declared (including hours on leave).
    • If the employee did not work over such period, a reasonable expectation at the time of hiring of the average hours the employee would normally receive in a typical 14-day period.
  • Permits employers with existing supplemental leave programs that provide an amount of leave equal or greater to PHEL that can be used for the same purposes to be exempt from the requirements.
  • Permits employees to use the PHEL leave for:
    • Being subject to a quarantine or isolation order from a government entity;
    • Recommended self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • Experiencing symptoms related to the public health emergency and seeking medical diagnosis;
    • Caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order from a government entity or recommended self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • Caring for a child if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the childcare provider is unavailable; and
    • Experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the United States Secretary of the Treasury and the United States Secretary of Labor.
  • Does not require employers to allow employees to use PHEL if they “can reasonably perform work remotely, taking into account all relevant circumstances impacting the ability to work.”
  • Permits employees to use PHEL in the smaller of hourly increments or the smallest increment that the entity's payroll system uses to account for absences or use of other time.
  • Requires employers to maintain records for up to 2 years.
  • Requires employers to reinstate employees’ PHEL leave if they are terminated and rehired within 6 months.

For more details on these provisions and other state and local requirements, visit our paid sick leave tool.

Next Steps

The Business Group recommends that affected employers:

  • Review current leave policies to determine what changes to leave provisions you may need to make to accommodate the new local requirements; and
  • Work with HR, payroll and any third-party vendors to determine what steps, if any, are needed to comply.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about these or other regulatory and compliance issues, please contact us.

We provide this material for informational purposes only; it is not a substitute for legal advice.

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  1. New York City, NY
  2. Philadelphia, PA
  3. Next Steps