Employers, employees have work to do implementing Philly’s new sick time rules

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Following enactment of a law mandating earned sick leave for most employees in Philadelphia, an attorney said work still remains to successfully implement the new policy.

Employers, especially in service companies, will need to do cross training so that workers who call out sick can be covered without customer complaints, said labor and employment attorney Joel Barras of Reed Smith in Philadelphia.

“The biggest issue is for companies with direct customer contact — say, for example, a grocery store with attendants who call in sick and you can’t fill in for those slots,” Barras said.

Barras, who has seen issues in Massachusetts and California where his firm does business, had some words of warning for workers: Don’t try to take sick time as a day off, because some companies can fire you if you aren’t really sick.

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