The City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Equal Protection to Strictly Enforce Paid Sick Days Act
The PSD Act ensures workers in the city receive paid sick time to prioritize their own health and the health of their families
Pittsburgh – The City of Pittsburgh will begin strict enforcement and compliance checks for local businesses, to be sure they’re providing employees with paid sick days. Enforced by the Office of Equal Protection, the Paid Sick Days Act ensures that almost all workers in the city are provided some paid sick time to care for the health of themselves and their families.
Local businesses are required to establish a Paid Sick Days policy and provide notice of workers’ rights to their employees. The Office of Equal Protections seeks to ensure that businesses will come into compliance with the ordinance, assisting workers to access the protections to which they are entitled.
“The Mayor’s Office of Equal Protection is committed to ensuring that all workers in Pittsburgh receive paid sick leave, which is their right under law. As we emerge from a global pandemic, there is no more important time to protect public health. By enforcing the Paid Sick Days Act, we seek to ensure that our city is safe, welcoming, and thriving,” said Zeke Rediker, Executive Advisor on Legal Policy and Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Equal Protection.
The Office of Equal Protection launched an educational campaign in September of 2023, where it provided notice of the rights and obligations of the ordinance to approximately 450 food service business owners and managers. Beginning in early 2024, the office will conduct compliance investigations into food service businesses according to zip code, starting in 15201 and 15203. Though the compliance campaign focuses on the food service industry, businesses in other industries are not exempt from the Paid Sick Leave Act and should be sure that they’re in compliance with the ordinance as well.
Employees are asked to submit complaints on the Paid Sick Days Act website. There they will find a form that can be submitted via the website or downloaded and mailed in or dropped off to the Office of Equal Protection (414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219). Retaliation and intimidation of any kind is strictly prohibited and includes, but is not limited to:
Considering use of sick time in performance reviews or setting wages, disciplining or terminating
Not allowing covered employees to use accrued sick time
Reporting or threatening to report an employee or employee’s family member to law enforcement
Discouraging or denying covered employees from using their accrued Sick Time
If retaliation is reported by an employee and proven, the Office of Equal Protection may seek full restitution to the employee for all lost wages and benefits reinstatement. The ordinance is designed to keep workers from having to choose between paying bills and being present for work on days where they’re sick or having to care for a family member who is sick.
Compliance investigations will be public information and can be viewed on the Paid Sick Days Act website. At the same time, the Office of Equal Protection will uplift hose that are striving to create a work environment that is conducive to the overall health and well-being of employees.
Businesses can fast-track compliance findings by sending a copy of their policy and a photo of their employee notice to email@example.com . After investigations and review of submissions, businesses will be classified as Safe, Thriving, or Non-compliant.
Employees and businesses interested in learning more about the Paid Sick Leave Act can visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/paidsickleave
About the Office of Equal Protection
The Office of Equal Protection is a civil enforcement and compliance office that seeks accountability in workers’ rights, civil rights, and public safety. The City of Pittsburgh and federal government have essential laws protecting the public health and welfare of Pittsburghers, including the Paid Sick Days Act, the Prevailing Wage ordinance, the Ensuring Equal Employment Opportunity for Persons Previously Convicted ordinance, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Disruptive Properties ordinance. These laws are designed to protect our communities, including the City’s most vulnerable citizens, from unfair labor practices, discrimination, and public nuisance. The Office of Equal Protection seeks to not only enforce these ordinances, but also educate Pittsburghers about their rights under law.