Philadelphia Enacts Public Health Emergency Leave for Broad Range of Employees Through 2020

Holland & Knight LLP
Contact

Holland & Knight LLP

Highlights

  • Philadelphia's City Council passed a measure on Sept. 15, 2020, enacting Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) for employees who work at least 40 hours per year within the city of Philadelphia and who physically report to work.
  • The amendment to the Philadelphia Code, entitled "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance" (PHFWO), took effect on Sept. 17, 2020, upon signing by Mayor Jim Kenney, and will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Under the PHFWO, PHEL is available to traditionally employed individuals, as well as individuals employed by "hiring entities," including domestic workers, individuals providing homecare, individuals who work for delivery or transportation networks, and certain healthcare professionals.

Philadelphia's City Council passed a measure on Sept. 15, 2020, enacting Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) for employees who work at least 40 hours per year within the city of Philadelphia and who physically report to work. Signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney on Sept. 17, 2020, the amendment to the Philadelphia Code, entitled "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance" (PHFWO), took effect immediately and will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.

PHEL is available to covered employees any time that a public official declares a public health emergency, where the employees need leave because they are:

  • subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to the public health emergency
  • advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine because of concerns related to the public health emergency
  • experiencing symptoms related to the public health emergency and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to the public health emergency, or otherwise advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine because of concerns related to the public health emergency
  • caring for a child of a covered individual if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or if the childcare provider is otherwise unavailable, due to precautions taken in accordance with the public health emergency response, or
  • experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the U.S. Secretary of Labor

Under the PHFWO, PHEL is available to traditionally employed individuals, as well as individuals employed by "hiring entities," including domestic workers, individuals providing homecare, individuals who work for delivery or transportation networks and certain healthcare professionals. The PHFWO, in fact, presumes that an individual is a covered employee unless:

  • the individual is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work
  • the individual performs labor or services that are outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business, or
  • the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the labor or services performed

Covered employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week receive an amount of leave equal to the amount of hours they worked over a 14-day period. Covered employees who work 40 or more hours per week may receive whichever amount of leave is greater:

  • up to 80 hours of leave, or
  • an amount of leave equal to their average hours worked over a 14-day period, up to a maximum of 112 hours

The PHFWO also establishes a system, run through the city's Office of Labor, for calculating the amount of leave for individuals who work for multiple hiring entities, collecting funds and allocating the funds to covered workers.

Covered employers should also be aware that absence because of PHEL may not lead to discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension or any other adverse employment action.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Holland & Knight LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Holland & Knight LLP
Contact
more
less

Holland & Knight LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.