Note: Workers in Pittsburgh, including those employed by smaller employers, may be entitled to greater sick time rights under Pittsburgh’s paid sick time laws. For more regarding paid sick time rights in Pittsburgh, click here.
1) What does the Allegheny County Paid Sick Time law do?
It gives workers up to 40 hours of sick time a year, which can be used to recover from physical/mental illness or injury; to seek medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; to care for a family member who is ill or needs medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; when the worker’s place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency; or to care for a family member when a public health authority or health care provider determines that the family member’s presence in the community presents a public health risk because of exposure to a communicable disease (regardless of whether the family member has contracted the disease).
2) Am I covered?
If you work as an employee for an employer in Allegheny County with 26 or more employees, you are probably covered, whether you are a full-time or part-time worker. Workers are covered regardless of immigration status. However, the law does not cover federal and state employees, independent contractors, or seasonal employees who are hired for a temporary period of not more than 16 weeks per calendar year and notified in writing at the time of hire of the beginning and end dates of their seasonal period.
3) How much paid sick time can I earn?
You are entitled under the law to earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked within the geographical boundaries of Allegheny County, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year.
All covered employees are protected against being fired or punished for using or requesting their sick time (including threats, discipline, demotion, reduction in hours, termination, etc.).
4) What if my work or my child’s school or daycare is closed for a health emergency?
You can also use your sick time if your place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
5) Which of my family members are covered by the law?
Under the law, you can take sick time to care for yourself or a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent of a spouse or domestic partner, grandchild, grandparent, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of a grandparent, or an individual your employer has permitted you to care for at the time you requested to use your sick time.
6) What if I already have paid leave or paid time off?
If you already get any paid leave (vacation, paid time off, etc.) that you can use as sick time and it’s at least the same amount you would earn under this law and it can be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as this law, Allegheny County’s paid sick time law does not give you any additional paid time off.
7) When can I begin using my sick time?
You start earning sick time immediately (on the law’s effective date of December 15, 2021 or upon beginning employment, whichever is later) but cannot use it until 90 calendar days after the start of your employment.
8) Do I need a doctor’s note?
Only for paid sick time that lasts for 3 or more consecutive full days (and the note does not have to specify your illness).
The Department of Administrative Services is in charge of enforcing this law. Note that although the County’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is active and enforceable, fines will not be imposed for violations until one year after the December 15, 2021 effective date.
All covered workers are protected against being fired or punished for using or requesting sick or safe time. If you have a problem—or want more information—call A Better Balance’s free legal clinic at 1-833-NEED-ABB.
Please note that this fact sheet does not represent an exhaustive overview of the paid sick time law described, and it does not constitute legal advice. It is possible that additional provisions not described in this fact sheet may apply to a worker’s specific circumstances or category of employment.Allegheny Cty. KYR SickTimeFact Sheet FINAL 1