PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Does your employer offer paid sick time when you are ill?
“Over 40 percent of the private workforce has no access to private sick leave across the United States,” says employment attorney Curtis Schaffner.
Instead, employees must choose between working or losing a paycheck when sick.
But effective March 15, a new law will change that in the city of Pittsburgh.
“It requires employers to provide paid sick leave to any employee who works within the city of Pittsburgh,” Schaffner told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Both full-time and part-time workers will get a minimum of three to five paid sick days, depending on the company size.
“The problem is the one-size-fits-all nature of the legislation,” says John Graf, owner of The Priory.
Graf, who provides paid sick time to his employees, says the bill treats mom-and-pop shops the same as large corporations.
“By placing this additional burden on them, you really put them in a position where maybe they don’t stay in business,” Graf said.
The law may also cover employees of companies outside Pittsburgh.
“If the company is outside the city but they have an employee who works 35 hours or more in a calendar year within the city, then this act is going to apply to that specific employee,” said Schaffner.
The Mayor’s Office of Equity, charged with implementing this new ordinance, was not available to comment.
But City Councilman Corey O’Connor, who is the author of the bill, said it was not meant to be punitive.
“Unless it’s reported to the city of Pittsburgh, we’re not going to do an investigation each and every week on a company,” says O’Connor.
City council is holding a hearing on Wednesday afternoon to clarify the details of implementation.