Philadelphia, PA: Mayor Expands COVID-19 Related Emergency PSL for Certain Employees


Employers and Hiring Entities of Six or More Philadelphia Employees


As Indicated


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed two bills that amend the citywide paid sick and safe time ordinance, also known as the Promoting Health Families and Workplaces Ordinance (PHFWO).  The amendments (1) require employers and hiring entities to provide public health emergency leave (PHEL) for specific employees who do not receive benefits under the federal FFCRA, and (2) permanently amends the PHFWO to require compensation and medical care for specific healthcare workers who contract disease during declared pandemic.

Public Health Emergency Leave. File Number 200303 implements PHEL as follows:

  1. Effective Date: September 17, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  2. Eligibility: All employers and “hiring entities” of six or more employees and individuals who perform at least 40 hours of work in Philadelphia in a year. Employees working for a hiring entity are presumed to be employees, unless meeting specific conditions similar to those of an independent contractor.
  3. Leave Amount: PHEL must be provided each time a public health emergency is declared. Employers and hiring entities may utilize existing time off policies so long as the benefit amount meets or exceeds the requirements of the PHEL law.
    1. Individuals who work 40+ hours per week: 80 hours of PHEL, or an amount of leave equal to average hours worked over a 14-day period, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of 112 hours.
    2. Individuals who work fewer than 40 hours per week: PHEL equal to the amount of hours worked on average in a 14-day period.
  4. Usage: Individuals can use PHEL during the public health emergency, and potentially up to one month following the conclusion of the emergency, under the below conditions. Notably, hiring entities are not required to allow an individual to use PHEL if the individual can reasonably perform their work remotely.
    1. The individual is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to the public health emergency;
    2. A healthcare provider advises the individual to self-quarantine due to concerns related to a public health emergency;
    3. The individual is experiencing symptoms related to a public health emergency and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
    4. Caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to the public health emergency, or who a health care provider advises self-quarantine due to concerns related to a public health emergency;
    5. Caring for a child of a covered individual if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to precautions taken in accordance with the public health emergency response; or
    6. 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.
  5. Reinstatement: Individuals who are re-hired within six months of separation must be reinstated to the previous amount of PHEL the individual had prior to separation.
  6. Notice & Recordkeeping: Employers and hiring entities must provide a notice of rights under the law within 15 days of the law taking effect, either by distributing written notice to each individual or conspicuously displaying a poster containing the required information.  Electronic posting or e-mail is permitted where employees telework or if there is no physical location.

Compensation for “Pool” & Healthcare Employee Benefits. File Number 200306 requires certain employees to be compensated for lost wages and medical expenses if they contract a communicable disease during a declared pandemic or epidemic.

Covered workers include “pool” employees, defined as any healthcare professional other than an employee of a temporary staffing agency, who works only when the individual indicates they are available to work.  Healthcare employees are defined as any individual with full or part-time employment within a healthcare organization, or any individual licensed under federal or Pennsylvania law to provide medical or emergency services.  Covered employees must have been in the employer’s service for at least 40 hours within the three months preceding the disease.

Affected employees must be reimbursed for the number of days the employee is unable to work, payable at their regular rate and equal to the number of days they would have worked if not ill (equivalent to the average number of days worked per week during the three-month preceding period).

Action Items

  1. Have leave policies updated.
  2. Implement notice requirements.
  3. Have supervisors trained on new requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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