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PRINTER'S NO. 143
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
169
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DONATUCCI, SCHLOSSBERG, MULLINS, A. DAVIS,
KRUEGER, ISAACSON, OTTEN, YOUNGBLOOD, SOLOMON, RABB, HILL-
EVANS, CALTAGIRONE, BULLOCK, SCHWEYER, McCLINTON, HOWARD AND
DAWKINS, JANUARY 28, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, JANUARY 28, 2019
AN ACT
Providing for paid sick leave for certain employees, for duties
of the Department of Labor and Industry and for enforcement;
and imposing a civil penalty.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Healthy
Families, Healthy Workplaces Act.
Section 2. Declaration of policy.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) Nearly every worker in this Commonwealth will at
some time during the year need temporary time off from work
to take care of the worker's own health needs or the health
needs of family members or to deal with safety issues arising
from domestic or sexual violence.
(2) There are many workers in this Commonwealth who are
not entitled to any paid sick leave to care for their own
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health needs or the health needs of family members.
(3) Low-income workers are significantly less likely to
have paid sick leave than other members of the work force.
(4) Providing workers time off to attend to their own
health care and the health care of family members will ensure
a healthier and more productive work force in this
Commonwealth.
(5) Paid sick leave will have a positive effect on
public health in this Commonwealth by allowing sick workers
the occasional option of staying home to care for themselves
when ill, lessening their recovery time and reducing the
likelihood of spreading illness to other members of the work
force.
(6) Paid sick leave will allow parents to provide
personal care for their sick children. Parental care makes
children's recovery faster, prevents more serious illnesses
and improves children's overall mental and physical health.
(7) Providing minimal paid sick leave is affordable for
employers and good for business.
(8) Employers who provide paid sick leave have greater
employee retention and avoid the problem of workers coming to
work sick. Studies have shown that costs from on-the-job
productivity losses resulting from sick workers exceed the
cost of absenteeism among employees.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Child." A biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild or
legal ward or a child, to whom the employee stands in loco
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parentis, who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or
older and incapable of self-care or earning a living due to a
disability or incapacity that is either physical or mental.
"Department." The Department of Labor and Industry of the
Commonwealth.
"Domestic violence." As the term "abuse" is defined in 23
Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions).
"Employee." As the term "employe" is defined in section 3 of
the act of January 17, 1968 (P.L.11, No.5), known as The Minimum
Wage Act of 1968.
"Employer." As defined in section 3 of The Minimum Wage Act
of 1968.
"Extended family member." A relative within the third degree
by blood or marriage.
"Grandparent." A parent of a parent.
"Health care provider." As defined in section 109 of the act
of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338), known as the Workers'
Compensation Act.
"Paid sick leave." Leave that is compensated at the same
hourly rate as the employee earns from the employee's employment
and is provided by an employer to an employee for the purposes
described in section 4.
"Parent." A biological or foster parent, stepparent or
adoptive parent or legal guardian of an employee or an
employer's spouse or a person who stood in loco parentis when
the employee was a minor.
"Retaliatory personnel action." The discharge, suspension or
demotion by an employer of an employee or any other adverse
employment action taken by an employer against an employee in
the terms and conditions of employment.
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"Sexual assault." As the offense is defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §
3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
"Spouse." A person to whom the employee is legally married
under the laws of this Commonwealth.
"Stalking." As the offense is defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2709.1
(relating to stalking).
Section 4. Accrual of paid sick leave.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided for in subsection (b),
employers shall provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave
for every 40 hours worked by an employee. Employers are not
required to provide more than 52 hours of sick leave for an
employee in a calendar year.
(b) Exception.--Employers that employ fewer than 10
individuals shall provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick
leave for every 80 hours worked by an employee. Employers under
this subsection are not required to provide more than 26 hours
of paid sick leave in a calendar year.
(c) Accrual of leave.--Paid sick leave shall accrue in hour
unit increments. Paid sick leave shall begin to accrue at the
date of hire as indicated in the employee's personnel file.
(d) Use of leave.--Employees shall be entitled to use
accrued paid sick leave beginning 90 business days following the
employee's date of hire. After 90 business days of employment,
employees may use sick leave as it is accrued.
(e) Carry forward of leave.--No more than 40 hours of paid
sick leave of an employee may carry forward from one calendar
year to the next.
(f) Compliance.--An employer with a paid leave policy who
makes available an amount of paid leave that may be used for the
same purposes and under the same conditions as paid sick leave
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under this section shall be deemed to be in compliance with this
section.
Section 5. Use of paid sick leave.
(a) General rule.--Paid sick leave shall be provided to an
employee by an employer for all of the following:
(1) Absence necessary due to an employee's:
(i) mental or physical illness, injury or health
condition;
(ii) need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment
of a mental or physical illness, injury or health
condition; or
(iii) need for preventive medical care.
(2) Care of a spouse, child, parent, grandparent or
extended family member, or any other individual related by
blood or affinity whose close relationship with the employee
is the equivalent of a family relationship, who needs the
following:
(i) medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental
or physical illness, injury or health condition; or
(ii) preventive medical care.
(3) Absence necessary due to domestic violence or sexual
assault, provided the leave is to:
(i) Seek medical attention for the employee or
employee's child, spouse, parent, grandparent or extended
family member to recover from physical injury or
disability or psychological injury or disability caused
by domestic violence or sexual assault.
(ii) Obtain services from a victims' services
organization.
(iii) Obtain psychological or other counseling.
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(iv) Seek relocation due to the domestic violence,
sexual assault or stalking.
(v) Take legal action, including preparing for or
participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding
related to or resulting from the domestic violence or
sexual assault.
(b) Notice.--An employer may require reasonable notice of
the need for paid sick leave. Where the need for the leave is
foreseeable, an employer may require advance notice of the
intention to take leave, but in no case shall require more than
seven days' notice. Where the need is not foreseeable, an
employer may require an employee to give notice of the need for
leave as soon as practicable.
(c) Documentation.--For leave of more than three consecutive
days, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the
paid leave is covered under subsection (a). Under subsection (a)
(1) or (2), documentation signed by a health care professional
indicating the need for the number of paid sick leave days shall
be considered reasonable documentation. Under subsection (a)(3),
a court record or documentation signed by an employee or
volunteer working for a victims' services organization, an
attorney, police officer or other antiviolence counselor shall
be considered reasonable documentation.
Section 6. Retaliation prohibited.
An employer may not take retaliatory personnel action or
discriminate against an employee because the employee has
requested paid sick leave under this act or taken paid sick
leave guaranteed by this act or made a complaint or filed an
action to enforce an employee's right to paid sick leave under
this act.
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Section 7. Notice and posting.
(a) Notice.--An employer shall give notice of all of the
following to an employee entitled to paid sick leave:
(1) The amount of paid sick leave and the terms of its
use provided for under this act.
(2) That retaliation against employees who request or
use paid sick leave is prohibited.
(3) That an employee has the right to file a complaint
or bring a civil action if sick leave under this act is
denied by the employer or the employee is retaliated against
for requesting or taking paid sick leave.
(b) Compliance.--
(1) An employer may comply with this section by
supplying each employee with a notice that contains the
information required under subsection (a).
(2) Employers may comply with this section by displaying
a poster in a conspicuous and accessible place in each
establishment where employees are employed that contains the
information required under subsection (a).
(c) Department poster.--The department shall create posters
and make them available to employers to assist employers in
complying with this act. The posters shall contain the
information required under subsection (a).
Section 8. Enforcement.
(a) Failure to provide leave.--
(1) A person aggrieved by an employer's failure to
provide paid sick leave as required under this act may bring
a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against
an employer violating this act.
(2) Upon prevailing in an action brought under this
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subsection, an aggrieved person shall recover the full amount
of any unpaid sick leave plus any actual damages suffered as
the result of the employer's failure to provide paid sick
leave and shall also be entitled to reasonable attorney fees.
(3) Upon prevailing in an action brought under this
subsection, an aggrieved person shall be entitled to legal or
equitable relief as may be appropriate to remedy the
violation, including, without limitation, reinstatement in
employment and injunctive relief.
(b) Retaliatory personnel action.--An employee subjected to
retaliatory personnel action in violation of this act may
institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction
and shall be entitled to recover damages and any other legal or
equitable relief as may be appropriate. An employee who prevails
in an action under this subsection shall be entitled to
reasonable attorney fees.
(c) Complaint.--A person aggrieved by either a retaliatory
personnel action in violation of this act or by an employer's
failure to provide paid sick leave as required by this act may
file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General. The filing
of a complaint with the Office of Attorney General does not
preclude the filing of a civil action under subsection (a) or
(b).
(d) Action of Attorney General.--The Attorney General may
bring a civil action to enforce this act. The Attorney General
may seek injunctive relief. In addition to injunctive relief, or
in lieu of injunctive relief, for any employer or other person
found to have willfully violated this section, the Attorney
General may seek to impose a fine of $1,000 per violation.
(e) Class action.--Actions brought under this section may be
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brought as a class action under the laws of this Commonwealth.
Section 9. Confidentiality and nondisclosure.
If an employer possesses health information or information
pertaining to domestic violence about an employee or employee's
child, parent, spouse, extended family member or other
individual described in section 5, the information shall be
treated as confidential and not disclosed except under the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
(Public Law 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936).
Section 10. Construction.
The following apply:
(1) Nothing in this act may be construed to discourage
or prohibit an employer from the adoption or retention of a
paid leave policy more generous than the one required under
this act.
(2) Nothing in this act may be construed as diminishing
the obligation of an employer to comply with any contract,
collective bargaining agreement, employment benefit plan or
other agreement providing more generous leave to an employee
than required in this act.
(3) Nothing in this act may be construed as diminishing
the rights of public employees regarding paid sick leave or
use of sick leave as provided in the employees' employment
contract or collective bargaining agreement.
(4) Nothing in this act may be construed to conflict
with the act of January 17, 1968 (P.L.11, No.5) known as The
Minimum Wage Act of 1968.
Section 11. Regulations.
The department shall promulgate regulations necessary to
carry out the provisions of this act.
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Section 12. Effective date.
This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) The following shall take effect immediately:
(i) Section 11.
(ii) This section.
(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 180
days.
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