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e-Alert: Philadelphia Requires COVID-19-related Employee Leave

By April 19, 2021No Comments


A new Philadelphia Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) law mandates up to 80 hours of paid employee leave for specific COVID-19-related reasons. Leave became available under the law on March 29, 2021, and employers are required to notify employees about the law by April 13, 2021. A model notice provided by the city compares the current PHEL law with a similar law that expired in December 2020. The PHEL law remains in effect until one week after the end of the public health emergency.


The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees. It covers employees who have worked for a given employer for at least 90 days and:

  • Work in Philadelphia;
  • Normally work in Philadelphia but are currently teleworking from another location because of COVID-19; or
  • Work for a given employer from multiple locations or mobile locations, if at least 51% of their work time is spent in Philadelphia.

Full-time, part-time, and union employees are covered by the law; however, seasonal, temporary, and state or federal employees are not covered.

Leave is provided for certain reasons related to an employee’s or family member’s COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, to the COVID-19-related closure of childcare or school, or to receive or recover from a COVID-19 vaccine.

With some exceptions, employers must offer PHEL in addition to other paid leave and cannot require employees to use PHEL before other leave.

Employers Next Steps

  • If you have any questions regarding this e-Alert, please email us.

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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.