philadelphia Medical and Sick Leave law firm serving pennsylvania and new jersey

In today’s economy, a sick day can be costly. Not only is medical care expensive, an employee may also lose wages if he/she does not have paid medical leave or, worse, an employee could lose his/her job if the employer is not required to provide medical leave. Certain employers are required to provide some medical leave benefits to their employees; however, not all employers follow these laws.

Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires covered employers to provide qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year and continued medical coverage during the leave. The FMLA applies to all public agencies, elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during that time.

FMLA leave may be granted for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee, adoption or foster care placement with the employee, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, as medical leave for the employee’s own serious health condition, or as any qualifying exigency arising from an immediate family member’s active duty status. Further, an eligible employee may take up to 26 weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for an injured or ill service-member in the employee’s immediate family.

FMLA leave may be taken in one consecutive period or may be taken intermittently. Based on the employer’s leave policy, the employer may require employees to use accrued vacation leave and/or paid sick or medical leave for some or all of the leave period.

The FMLA prohibits employers from discriminating and/or retaliating against employees who request and/or take FMLA leave. The FMLA also requires employers to provide appropriate notice to employees of their FMLA rights and eligibility.


Pennsylvania law does not require that employers provide any type of medical or sick leave; however, many Pennsylvania employers who are not covered under the FMLA or Philadelphia’s “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” law voluntarily provide their employees with medical or sick leave.

Philadelphia’s “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” Law

Philadelphia’s “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” law requires employers within the City of Philadelphia to provide either paid or unpaid sick leave to their employees. Employers with 9 or less employees must provide unpaid sick leave. Employers with 10 or more employee must provide paid sick leave. Sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 leave hour for every 40 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 leave hours per year.

Employers are required to notify their employees of their entitlement to leave. If an employer refuses to provide earned sick time or retaliates against the employee for using sick time, the employee may file a complaint against the employer. Philadelphia’s “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” law excludes some employees, including federal and state employees, interns, and seasonal workers.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, which went into effect October 30, 2018, requires that employers provide eligible employees with paid medical leave. Eligible employees may use the leave for his/her own medical condition, to care for a family member, if the employee or a family member has been the victim of domestic or sexual violence, to attend an education-related event for a child, or if the employer’s business or child’s school/care provider is closed due to a public health emergency. Paid leave accrues at the rate of 1 leave hour for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 leave hours per year. Up to 40 hours of unused leave may be carried into the next benefit year.

New Jersey employers may not discriminate and/or retaliate against employees who request and/or take earned sick leave. Employers must also provide appropriate notice to employees of their leave rights and eligibility.

I think that my employer violated my medical and/or sick leave rights. What do I do?

If you believe that you are entitled to medical/sick leave and have not received it or if you have been discriminated and/or retaliated against for requesting and/or using medical/sick leave, it is important to contact an employment attorney who can determine your rights and remedies.

Contact employment lawyer Stephanie J. Mensing of Mensing Law LLC at (215) 586-3751. Ms. Mensing in an employment attorney with extensive experience handling medical/sick leave violations. Schedule a consultation today to ensure that your rights are protected.