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December 12, 2023

Philly's paid sick leave law for COVID-19 ends later this month

A city rule that requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of additional compensated time off for the sickness expires on New Year's Eve

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After Philadelphia's COVID-19 sick leave law expires, employers will no longer be required to provide additional paid sick leave to employees if they catch the virus.

COVID-19 significantly changed how many Philadelphia workplaces function, but one citywide rule enacted during the pandemic will expire at the end of the month. 

The city passed the COVID-19 Sick Leave Law in March 2022. Under the law, employers based in Philly with at least 25 employees are required to give employees up to 40 hours of additional paid time off when they are unable to work due to the sickness, are caring for someone who is sick with the virus, are receiving a COVID-19 test or vaccine, or are caring for a child because the child's school closed due to COVID.

The law, which expires Dec. 31, also protects employees from retaliation from their employers. Employees who believe their employer violated the law can file a complaint with the Office of Worker Protections or call the Worker Protection Line at (215) 686-0802. 

Should employers no longer provide additional paid sick leave for COVID when the new year begins, employees will have to utilize their usual sick time if they come down with the virus.

Meanwhile, Philly's health care epidemic leave policy remains in effect. Enacted in 2020, the law requires Philadelphia health care organizations with at least 10 employees to provide paid sick leave to health care workers who test positive for COVID-19.

That rule has no set expiration date; though the national health emergency ended May 11, Philly health officials have not declared the pandemic to be over.

As the holidays approach, Philly's Department of Public Health is reminding residents to stock up on COVID tests and receive the latest COVID-19 vaccine.

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