Pittsburgh’s requirement for paid covid sick depart to final for a yr

Pittsburgh businesses with more than 50 employees will be required to provide paid sick leave to workers who contract covid-19 or who are required to quarantine for at least the next year under legislation city council adopted Tuesday.

The revised ordinance passed by a 7-1 vote, with Councilman Anthony Coghill opposed because it’s effective too long, in his opinion. Councilman Corey O’Connor didn’t participate in the meeting.

Mayor Bill Peduto will sign the legislation, said his spokeswoman Molly Onufer.

The requirement was initially passed last December, but as written it was to expire when the state-declared emergency from the pandemic expired. In June, the state Legislature ended the emergency, although one remains in place in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was adopted to protect people who work in the city after a similar federal requirement for paid covid leave ended Dec. 31, 2020.

RELATED: Pittsburgh council approves law requiring paid covid sick leave

Councilman Bobby Wilson spearheaded revising the legislation and initially proposed having it remain in effect until 90% of the eligible Pennsylvania population is vaccinated.

This requirement was lifted in favor of having it remain in effect for a year upon passage, with an option to extend it if pandemic conditions warrant it.

The timeframe “will permit federal, state and local health agencies and departments sufficient time to assess the threat posts to public health by covid-19,” the revised law states.

It’s too long, Coghill said.

“A year was a little much,” he said. “I guess at one some point I feel like everybody has got to get back to work.”

The law applies to businesses with more than 50 employees.

It is supplemental to a law council passed in 2015 that went into effect last year that requires city employers to provide sick leave. The covid leave is beyond those sick days.

The city’s non-covid-related sick leave law was subject to a lengthy litigation process and went into effect last year. It requires businesses with 15 or more employees to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year and those with fewer than 15 employees 24 hours of sick leave each year.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, tdavidson@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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