Philadelphia City Council Passes Ordinance Requiring Paid Leave for COVID-19 Leave

Rebecca J. Reist

On March 3, 2022, the Philadelphia City Council passed an ordinance amending the City’s Public Health Emergency Leave Law that requires many Philadelphia employers to provide their employees with paid leave for absences related to COVID-19. Mayor Jim Kenney signed the bill on March 9, 2022, and it went into effect immediately after signing. The ordinance provides that employees may use this new paid COVID-19 leave for their inability to work based on one or more of the following reasons:

      • the employee’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the employee’s exposure to COVID-19, or because the employee is exhibiting symptoms, regardless of whether the employee has been diagnosed with or has tested positive for COVID-19;
      • to care for a family member who has been exposed to COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms that may jeopardize the health of others, regardless of whether the family member has been diagnosed or having tested positive for COVID-19;
      • to self-isolate because the employee was diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19, because the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or to seek medical care if experiencing symptoms of an illness related to COVID-19;
      • to care for a family member who is self-isolating because the family member was diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19, because the family member is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or to seek medical care if experiencing symptoms of an illness related to COVID-19;
      • to care for a child if their school has been closed or their childcare provider is unavailable due to precautions taken in response to COVID-19;
      • to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or booster; or
      • to recover from any side effect related to a COVID-19 vaccination.
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