In a ruling issued December 21, 2015, a trial court judge held that the City of Pittsburgh did not have the authority under state law to enact the Paid Sick Days Ordinance that Pittsburgh’s City Council passed on August 3, 2015. It remains to be seen whether the City of Pittsburgh will appeal this decision.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Law.
Amendments to Philadelphia’s “Ban the Box” legislation, the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards, were signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter on December 15, 2015. The amendments to Philadelphia’s ordinance, which take effect on March 14, 2016, expand the reach of existing law to more businesses. They also restrict the look-back period for background checks and reliance on criminal records as a basis for rejecting applicants for employment, imposing new obligations and legal risk on employers doing business in Philadelphia.
The Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (“PSDA”) and the implementing regulations, which were released in October, were to become effective on January 11, 2016. Instead, because of a lawsuit against the City, this date has been extended by 60 days, to March 10, 2016. (For details of the PSDA, see our article, Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act Effective 2016, Notices Available.)
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.
The Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (“Ordinance”) requires all employers of employees within the Pittsburgh city limits to provide paid sick leave to all full- and part-time employees. The Ordinance is effective January 11, 2016.
On August 3, 2015, less than one month after the introduction of the original bill, the Pittsburgh City Council passed an amended bill requiring virtually all employers within the city to provide paid sick leave. Pittsburgh is the second Pennsylvania city to approve a paid sick leave measure this year, following Philadelphia’s enactment of the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance in February 2015.1 With the passage of this bill, which Mayor Bill Peduto intends to sign, Pittsburgh will become the 20th major city2 to mandate that the majority of its employers provide paid sick leave to employees, joining California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon, and a number of major localities.3
Philadelphia has become the seventeenth city in the United States to require that employers provide paid sick leave to their employees. The law, signed by Mayor Michael Nutter on February 12, 2015, applies to Philadelphia businesses with at least 10 employees. Employers who already provide employees with paid leave that meets the minimum paid sick leave accrual standards and other requirements will not have to change their policies or provide additional leave time. The law goes into effect on May 13, 2015, 90 days after signing.
Executive Summary: On February 12, 2015, the Philadelphia City Council passed, and Mayor Michael A. Nutter promptly signed into law, the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance (“Ordinance”). With this Ordinance, Philadelphia becomes the latest in a long list of municipalities, in addition to the states of California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, which have passed laws mandating paid sick leave for employees.
After seven years and two previous vetoes, on February 12, 2015, Philadelphia City Council passed, and Mayor Michael Nutter promptly signed into law, the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) with a May 13, 2015 effective date. With this action, Philadelphia becomes the 17th major city1 to mandate that most employers provide paid sick leave to employees, joining several municipalities in neighboring New Jersey, as well as the states of California, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Under an ordinance signed on September 3, 2014, Philadelphia now requires public and private employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who need to express breast milk. Philadelphia employers must provide employees paid (if otherwise available to the employee) or unpaid break time to express milk as well as a private, sanitary space that is not a bathroom to express milk. The ordinance exempts an employer from these requirements only if they pose an “undue hardship.” The ordinance is an amendment to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance (Chapter 9-1100), and is effective immediately.
On or before April 20, 2014, all employers with employees in the City of Philadelphia must post a new notice on pregnancy discrimination from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Unlike the Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard,1 this law is not limited to city employees or contractors, but instead applies to all employers and employees working within the City. The new Notice is a plain-language explanation of the January 20, 2014 amendments to the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance which impose a duty on employers to accommodate employees “affected by pregnancy,” regardless of whether they are disabled.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a decision that may significantly change the ability of an employer to modify or suspend Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits based on a Labor Market Survey. In Phoenixville Hospital v. WCAB (Shoap), the court ruled that evidence that a claimant applied for, but was ultimately not hired for, positions identified in the Labor Market Survey is allowable to show the positions are “not available” under Section 306 (b)(2) of the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act (the Act). Thus, the claimant’s application for the jobs and the availability of the positions is now an issue that must be addressed.
Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett has announced that he will sign the “benevolent gesture” bill after the legislation received unanimous support from lawmakers. The law permits health care providers, including hospitals, long-term care facilities and physicians, to offer a “benevolent gesture” (i.e., an apology) to patients, their family members or representatives without worrying that the gesture might be used against them in future litigation. The bill is widely touted as a method to encourage open communication between patients and physicians, as well as a way to reduce the number of medical malpractice actions.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has signed into law an ordinance that significantly enhances the rights and protections afforded the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and makes Philadelphia the first city in the United States to provide tax incentives for businesses to offer LGBT-inclusive health care.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has vetoed legislation that would require local employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.