Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Set to End on December 31, 2023

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law, which has provided additional sick leave protections for city workers since the start of the pandemic, is nearing its end. The law will expire on December 31, 2023, according to official sources.

The law, in effect since March 9, 2022, requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of additional paid sick leave to eligible employees unable to work due to specific COVID-19-related reasons. These include caring for oneself or a family member showing symptoms of or exposed to COVID-19, childcare or school closures, and time needed to receive a COVID-19 test or vaccine, or recover from related illness or injury.

Workers who believe their rights under this law have been violated can file a complaint with the Office of Worker Protections or a lawsuit in court within one year of the violation. Supporting evidence, such as timestamped test results or relevant communications, should accompany the complaint.

Most Philadelphians are entitled to earn Sick Leave at their work, accruing one hour of leave for every forty hours worked. Covered employees can use up to 40 hours each calendar year to care for themselves or a family member, including for COVID-19 reasons.

However, another law, the Health Care Epidemic Leave law, remains in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This law, effective since September 9, 2020, mandates healthcare organizations with 10 or more employees to provide additional paid sick leave to certain employees who test positive for COVID-19. This law will remain in effect until the World Health Organization or other recognized public health organizations declare the end of the pandemic.

As the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law nears its end, employers must keep all compliance records until December 31, 2025. From January 1, 2024, employers will not be obligated to provide additional COVID-19 Sick Leave, although other paid sick leave requirements may still apply.

As the city continues to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, the focus remains on protecting the rights and health of its workers. The end of the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law marks a significant milestone in this journey, but it doesn’t signal the end of all protections for Philadelphia’s workforce.

Although the national health emergency ended on May 11, 2023, health officials caution that the pandemic is not yet over. The Health Care Epidemic Leave requirements will continue until the pandemic is officially declared over. For questions or compliance support, contact Philadelphia’s Office of Worker Protection hotline at 215-686-0802.

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