Philadelphia has joined an increasing record of localities to require employers to provide employees paid COVID-19-related sick leave.

As of March 29, 2021, employers with employees working in Philadelphia must supply them compensated COVID-19-related ill leave.

The amended PHEL ordinance is much like the FFCRA, minus the tax credits, also expands existing economic sick leave requirements by mandating Philadelphia companies with at least 50 employees deliver extra paid time off to employees that have worked for the company at least 90 days.

PHEL depart is available instantly for qualifying employees. To qualify for PHEL leave, an employee must meet one of the following location-based requirements:

Function within Philadelphia;

Normally work for a company in Philadelphia but is now teleworking due to the pandemic; or

Work for an employer from multiple locations with 51 percent or more of their time spent working within Philadelphia.

Under the PHEL, qualifying employees who work at least 40 hours a week are eligible for around 80 hours of leave; while those working up to 40 hours a week are provided paid leave in an amount equivalent to the average amount of time the worker works in a 14-day period. For employees with changing schedules, leave time is calculated as the average number of hours the employee was scheduled to perform over the past 90 days multiplied by 14.

Like the FFCRA, qualifying employees are eligible for PHEL if they’re:

Caring for themselves or a relative diagnosed with, vulnerable to, or showing symptoms of COVID-19, no matter a diagnosis;

Caring for themselves or a family member isolating Because of a public quarantine arrangement or advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider due to COVID-19-related concerns;

Caring for a child whose college or place of attention has shut, or whose childcare provider is inaccessible, due to COVID-19; or

Covered employers are required to provide notice to workers of eligibility for leave under the ordinance.

Further, insured employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for utilizing PHEL, and aggrieved employees have the right to file a civil action against an employer for an alleged breach of the ordinance.

Employers with employees in Philadelphia should evaluate COVID-19-related leave requests under PHEL.

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