Regulatory Roundup July 2022

August 05, 2022

Philadelphia and San Francisco added new commuter and emergency leave benefits for eligible employees last month.

Blog Post

As many celebrated the nation’s birthday last month, a pair of local legislative updates were passed in Pennsylvania and California. The Philadelphia City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide a commuter transit benefit to eligible employees, while voters in San Francisco passed a law requiring eligible employers to provide Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) to employees. Check out each of these developments below in this month’s Regulatory Roundup.

Philadelphia’s Commuter Transit Benefits Program

Starting December 31, 2022, Philadelphia-based employers must offer transit benefits to eligible employees as part of the city’s new Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Program. Specifically, the law will apply to employers with 50 or more covered employees who have worked, on average, at least 30 hours per week within the city for the same employer over the last 12 months. This does not include government employees, unpaid interns, volunteers, or unpaid apprentices.

The benefit must take the form of either a pre-tax deduction for mass transit or qualified bicycle expenses, an employer-paid benefit for mass transit expenses, or any combination of the two. Expenses can include fares for mass transit or transportation in a commuter highway vehicle, which are vehicles with seating for at least six people, at least three of whom must be transported to work 80% of the time the vehicle is used.

San Francisco’s Public Health Emergency Leave

San Francisco-based employers with 100 or more employees worldwide will soon be required to offer eligible employees Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) whenever a public health emergency is declared by the city or state, or if the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues an air quality emergency. Effective October 1, 2022, employees must receive at least 40 hours of leave, and as of January 1, 2023, employees may receive no more than 80 hours of leave. This leave must be offered in addition to the standard paid leave employees already receive, but this ordinance does not apply to employees covered by a union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that expressly waives said ordinance’s requirements.

Additional Information

Get more details on the compliance updates from July here:

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