Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act – What Does It Mean For Your Restaurant?

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The City of Pittsburgh has announced that the PSDA (Pittsburgh Sick Days Act) will take effect on March 15, 2020.

Pittsburgh City Code Chapter 626—Paid Sick Days Act.  The act applies to employees who work at least 35 hours within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh in a calendar year.

Employers with 15 or more employees:

  • employees shall accrue one (1) hour of Paid Sick Time for every thirty-five (35) hours worked within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh
  • employees are permitted to accrue no more than forty (40) hours of Paid Sick Time in a calendar year (yearly cap)

Employers with less than 15 employees:

  • employees shall accrue one (1) hour of Unpaid Sick Time for every 35 hours worked within the geographic boundaries of the City of Pittsburgh
  • employees are permitted to accrue no more than twenty-four (24) hours of Unpaid Sick Time until March 14, 2021 (yearly cap)
  • employees are permitted to accrue no more than twenty-four (24) hours of Paid Sick Time, after March 15, 2021, in a calendar year (yearly cap)

FLSA-Exempt Employees:  An Employee who is exempt from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 213(a)(1) will be assumed to work forty (40) hours per week.

Paid Sick Time hours are available for use on the 90th day following the commencement of employment.

Accrued, unused Paid Sick Time shall be carried over from one calendar year to the next up to the accrual limit:

  •         Forty (40) hours for employees that work for employers with 15 or more employees
  •         Twenty-four (24) hours for employees that work for employers with less than 15 employees

Therefore, an employee could have an accrued balance up to eighty (80) hours or forty-eight (48) hours depending on employer size in their second full year of employment.

Front-loading of hours is permitted if the employer makes the yearly cap of Paid Sick Time available at the beginning of the year

  •         No carry over is required when an employer front-loads Paid Sick Time

As provided in §626(i), “Paid Sick Time” is defined as time off from employment that is provided by an Employer for the purposes described in §626.04, and that is “compensated at the same base rate of pay and with the same benefits, including health care benefits, as an employee would have earned at the time of their use of the Paid Sick Time.”

Required Posting: Can be found @ PA Paid Sick Leave – Notice of Employee Rights

What is the rollout timing of the law?

Employers with 15 or more employees:

  •  Accrual of Paid Sick Time begins March 15, 2020 for employees currently employed when the Paid Sick Days Act takes effect

Employers with less than 15 employees:

  • Accrual of Paid Sick time Begins March 15, 2021 for employees currently employed when the Paid Sick Days Act takes effect for employers with less than fifteen (15) employees

What are the penalties if the law is not followed

Chief Equity Officer will review complaints and gather evidence during an investigation and may issue a written notice of violation and that a penalty will be assessed if voluntary compliance is not established immediately.

How can RASI assist restaurants to remain in compliance with the law?

RASI’s Paid Sick Days tracking system will calculate and report Paid Sick Days based on an accrual or front-load system, which includes providing employees, on each pay stub, the amount of accrued Paid Sick Days for the pay period and the year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available Paid Sick Time hours.  There is a store level report that displays each employee’s year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available Paid Sick Time hours.  If your company has a more generous leave plan than the Pittsburgh mandated plan, RASI has the ability to accrue Paid Sick Time at a higher rate and set a higher level to the overall accrued amount and amount of available (for use) Paid Sick Time.  If your company is currently stuck in a manual tracking system of Paid Sick Days, RASI can import the current balances by employee and take over the process of calculating and reporting Paid Sick Days on the first check processed through RASI’s web based payroll system.