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Philadelphia Launches the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund

The City of Philadelphia launched the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund to assist businesses that are struggling as a result of city- and state-wide mandated business closures. According to city representatives, over $9 million in economic assistance is available in the Fund.

Philadelphia Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Order, Raising Further Questions for Business

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has issued a “Stay at Home” Order, directing residents to remain home, unless working for an “essential” business or engaging in “essential” personal activity.

Philadelphia Updates Non-Essential Business Closures Due to COVID-19 and Mandates Residents Stay at Home

On March 22, 2020, the mayor of Philadelphia issued an Emergency Order temporarily prohibiting operation of non-essential businesses and congregation of persons to prevent the spread of Covid-19, updating and extending his Order of March 17, 2020, and mandating all Philadelphia residents to stay at home except for limited purposes. The Order goes into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, and remains in effect “indefinitely.” The mayor’s March 17 Order was set to expire on March 27, 2020.

Pennsylvania Restricts Restaurants, Bars and Philadelphia Restricts Commercial Activities Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

In rapid succession, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants and bars in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, then strongly urged all non-essential Pennsylvania businesses to follow suit and voluntarily cease operations for 14 days to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Philadelphia then announced its own sweeping restrictions on commercial activity.

Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Non-Essential Business Closures Due to COVID-19

In an afternoon press conference on March 16, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared that certain non-essential businesses across Pennsylvania “are to close” for at least 14 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In a press release issued later that evening, Governor Wolf reiterated that “we strongly urge non-essential businesses to temporarily close,” noting that his administration was relying on businesses to act now before the governor or the secretary of health finds it necessary to compel closures

Revised Guidelines & New FAQs for Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Effective Soon

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Paid Sick Days Act will (finally) take effect on March 15, 2020, the effective date triggered when the Mayor's Office of Equity (“MOE”) released guidelines on December 16, 2019. On February 15, 2020, one month before the ordinance's effective date, MOE revised some of its guidelines and released a set of long-awaited Frequently Asked Questions.1 In some respects, employers may welcome the revisions and FAQs. However, challenges remain both for companies that want one policy that also complies with the Philadelphia paid sick leave ordinance and for companies with employees based outside of Pittsburgh who regularly travel through the city.

When Hiring For Jobs Located In Philadelphia, Salary History Will Soon Be Off Limits Unless Voluntarily and Willingly Disclosed

The United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit has issued its decision upholding the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance, one of the so-called “salary history ban” laws.1 Now that the Third Circuit has issued its decision, employers that have not already done so must begin to prepare for compliance.

Pennsylvania Court Finds Private Right of Action for Employees Under State’s Medical Marijuana Law

Following the lead of other courts around the country, a Pennsylvania state court has held that employees can bring lawsuits against their employers asserting claims under the state’s medical marijuana law. Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, Inc., 19-CV-1315 (Lackawanna County Nov. 22, 2019).

Third Circuit Lifts Preliminary Injunction and Green Lights Philadelphia’s Salary History Ordinance

On February 6, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Philadelphia’s salary history ordinance and reversed the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which had held that one of the ordinance’s provisions was unconstitutional. Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce v. City of Philadelphia.1

Court Revives Philadelphia’s Salary History Ban

A federal appeals court just resurrected the salary history ban that will now prevent Philadelphia employers from asking job applicants about how much they are paid or setting new salaries based on pay history. Thanks
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