How Paid Sick Leave May Affect Your City

If you’re just tuning in, this article will cover city and county paid sick leave laws.

A recent trend towards creating paid sick leave laws has taken the country by storm. Cities and counties across the US are passing their own paid sick leave laws in an effort to create more change on the state level.

New paid sick leave laws are so prevalent right now, that there is a good chance they may affect your business.

This article will give you a complete list of all the cities and counties that have created their own paid sick leave laws.

With that being said, let’s first have a quick review.

What exactly are paid sick leave laws?

They’re essentially laws mandating paid sick leave for most employees. They usually are accrual based and allow employees to take time off for:

  • A personal illness or injury
  • A doctor’s appointment (in some cases)
  • A relative’s (TBD by state) illness or injury
  • Recovery from an assault or trauma

The amount of paid sick time usually depends on the size of the company and the number of hours an employee works.

Some cities and counties only require a handout about the law, while others require an actual labor law poster. Then still, some cities and counties don’t require either while some require both. So how do you know if you need to update your labor posters due to a paid sick leave law?

Read on to find out which cities and counties have adopted paid sick leave laws.

California Cities

California passed a statewide paid sick leave law on September 10th, 2014. However, some cities had already created their own paid sick leave laws by then. If your business is located in one of these cities, you may be required to post a city poster as well as a state and federal labor poster.

  • Emeryville: As of July 2nd, 2015
  • San Francisco: As of August, 2014
  • Oakland: As of February, 2015

It is important to note that California’s statewide paid sick leave law sets the bar at the level outlined in the new law. However, if the cities offer more paid sick time, then their law trumps the statewide California law.

New Jersey Cities

There has been a grassroots movement throughout the cities of New Jersey to cause changes at the state level with regards to paid sick leave. Many cities are trying to create enough momentum to pass a New Jersey state paid sick leave law.

If your business is located in New Jersey there’s a good chance you’re required to post city labor law posters along with state and federal compliance posters. Here are the cities that currently require new paid leave posters.

  • Trenton: Effective March 4, 2015.
  • East Orange: As of March, 2015.
  • Paterson: As of April, 2015.
  • Jersey City: Effective June, 2014.
  • Montclair: Effective March, 2015.
  • Newark: Effective June, 2014.
  • Passaic: Effective February, 2015.

The fourth largest city in New Jersey- Elizabeth- is moving towards the passage of a local paid sick leave law as well. A petition to create this law has already been signed by residents, activists and labor leaders.

Pennsylvania Cities

While Pennsylvania does not have a statewide paid sick leave law, one of its major cities has created one. Let’s check it out:

  • Philadelphia: The new paid sick leave law took effect May 13th, 2015
    • The new law applies to employees working at least 40 hours a year within city limits.
    • Employers with 10 or more employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked.
    • Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide their employees with 1 hour of unpaid sick time for every 40 hours worked.

This is a mandatory change and a Philadelphia city labor law poster is required to be displayed so that employees can easily view the new law.

  • Pittsburgh: A paid sick leave law passed on 7/31/15. The ordinance currently only specifies a written requirement, but the city has the power to change that.

Washington State Cities

Washington may not have a statewide paid sick leave law yet, but the possibility is certainly there. At this moment a paid sick leave bill has just passed the House and is going to the Senate to be voted on.

While we don’t know whether a statewide law could take effect anytime soon, here are the cities in Washington that have passed their own paid sick leave law or are working on creating one.

  • Tacoma: The Tacoma City Council approved a paid sick leave ordinance on January 27th, 2015 that covers most workers in the city.
    • The law will take effect February 1st, 2016 and employers in Tacoma will need to display a city labor law poster in a location accessible to all employees.
    • All employees, full-time, part-time, and temporary will earn one hour for every 40 hours worked with a maximum of 24 hours earned within a calendar year.
    • 24 hours of unused sick time may be carried over into the next year, allowing for a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick time in any given year.
    • New employees cannot use paid sick leave until 180 days after the start of employment
    • Along with the city labor law poster, employers also have to either distribute the notice to each employee or update the employee handbook with all the needed information.
    • The requirement may also be fulfilled electronically.
  • Spokane: The city council heard two separate paid sick leave proposals the week of August 13th, 2015. They are also currently collecting input from residents.

As you can see, many changes are taking place with regards to sick leave laws. Our research team has also discovered that more changes are to come. For example, Maryland’s Montgomery County just passed a new paid sick leave law that will take effect August 1st, 2016. Chicago, Illinois is currently discussing the possibility of a new paid sick leave law.

So what can you do to stay up to date with all these changes?

Poster Compliance Center’s City/County Poster 1-Year Plan will take care of all your required city or county labor law poster needs. When you enroll in this plan, you’ll receive the city or county poster plus one year of free automatic city or county labor law poster updates.

That wraps up our segment on paid sick leave laws. You are now officially an expert on the topic. If you would like to become an expert on other labor law topics you can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we regularly post information on all aspects of the labor law posters. Feel free to leave us a question or comment. We may even blog about it!