Pittsburgh, PA Paid Sick Leave

January 14, 2020

Effective March 15, 2020, the city of Pittsburgh, PA passed a new ordinance of paid sick time. All employers are required to provide paid sick leave.

At a Glance

  • Pittsburgh, PA Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is effective March 15, 2020.
  • All employers within the geographic boundaries of the city are required to provide paid sick leave.
  • Employees accrue one hour per 35 hours worked.
  • Employers may frontload hours at the beginning of a 12-month period.
  • Employers may enforce a 90-day probationary period.

On December 16, 2019, the city of Pittsburgh, PA passed a new ordinance of paid sick time. This Act has an effective date of March 15, 2020. Please review below requirements along with links to pertinent information regarding this Ordinance.


Employers who perform work within the geographic boundaries of Pittsburgh are required to provide paid sick leave to full-time and part-time employees. Seasonal and independent contractors are excluded from being eligible to receive paid sick leave benefits.

Sick Leave Accrual and Entitlement

Qualifying employees begin to accrue paid sick leave on March 15, 2020, or the first day after they start employment, if hired after March 15. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. Employers do have the option to frontload the hours at the beginning of the calendar year.

The law permits employers with 15 or more employees to cap the accrual of paid sick leave at 40 hours per 12-month benefit period. Employers with 15 or fewer employees have a cap of 24 hours per 12-month benefit period. Employees can carry over accrued, unused paid sick leave into the next 12-month benefit year. If the employer chooses to frontload the hours then employers are not required to allow carry over. There is no use limit.

Employers do not need to pay out any unused sick leave as cash upon termination.

Approved Uses

Employees must have the ability to begin using accrued paid sick leave no later than their 90th calendar day after their employment commences. Employees can use paid sick time for their own or family members’ illnesses, injuries, or medical treatment, including preventive and mental health care. The Act defines covered family members to include grandchildren, domestic partners, foster children, children of a domestic partner, and any individual for whom an employee has received oral permission from the employer to care for.

Employees may provide notice as soon as practicable. Businesses also may require the employee to certify that leave is for a qualifying purpose, but only if the employee requires more than three consecutive leave days. Businesses cannot require the certification to specify the nature of the medical issue necessitating the leave.

Existing PTO Policies

If an employer currently has a policy that grants employees paid time off in a manner consistent with the new requirements, it need not provide additional paid leave. It will, however, need to conform its policy to meet the requirements of this new law.


Employers must notify employees of the rights provided to them under the Act, including their right to sick time, the amount of sick time available to them, and the terms surrounding permissible sick-time use. Employees must also be notified of their right to be free from retaliation for requesting sick time, taking sick leave, or filing a complaint with the City.

Employers are also obliged to post notices provided by the City’s agency relating to the Act, and are subject to fines for failing to post the notices.

For more information please click here.

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner.

This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.


Date Posted: January 14, 2020