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A Primer for Open Shop Contractor’s On Philadelphia’s New Sick Leave Law

3/9/2015 | Construction Blog

Open shop developers and contractors alike will soon have a new rule to contend with when they work in Philadelphia. The new ordinance mandating paid sick leave for companies with 10 or more employees will go into effect on June 13, 2015. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement or working as independent contractors are exempt from the new law.

As for the specifics, the ordinance requires that employers give each employee covered by the law 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The sick leave earned by employees can be used when the employee is sick or for a number of other purposes, including the illness of a family member or to seek care or support for domestic violence.

Many employers already provide sufficient sick leave policies, so no adjustment will be required. If one is necessary, however, there are requirements about establishing and announcing the new policy. Advocates have praised the new law as recognition of “workers’ rights” and helping to prevent others working with a sick coworker from getting sick themselves. Opponents object on the basis that it drives up costs, encourages employees to take time off and/or abuse the system, and hurts businesses.