Thank You for downloading Ebook!

500+ customers across the globe trust Truein
Compass Group logo
TATA Projects Logo
SJ Contracts logo
Schindler logo
Thankyou for contacting us will reach you shortly
Contractual and Distributed workforce Time & Attendance has these age-old problems!
Find out how to solve them.
Enter Your Name
Enter Company Name
Select Employee Size
Enter Office email (e.g.
Enter Mobile Number

By clicking on Submit, you acknowledge having read our Privacy Notice

250+ customer across the globe trust Truein
Compass Group logo
Tata 1mg logo
SJ Contracts logo
Schindler logo
blog banner of navigating Pennsylvania's PTO Laws

Navigating Pennsylvania’s PTO Laws in 2024

For employers in Pennsylvania, it can be challenging to keep up with the PTO laws as the state has no mandatory paid time off rules. However, the Pennsylvania PTO laws follow federal regulations, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), to primarily govern most PTO regulations. Exceptions exist, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Allegheny County, that allow paid time off. 

Understanding the distinct interplay between federal and local regulations is crucial for employers to comply with PA PTO laws. In this guide, we examine the Pennsylvania PTO payout laws, including exceptions in counties. 

The FMLA is the federal law enacted in 1993 to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for qualified family and medical reasons. Pennsylvania requires all employers with 50 or more employees to adhere to the rules outlined by FMLA. Your employees can use FMLA time off for various reasons, including the birth of a child, adoption, personal or family illness, and family military leave. In addition to FMLA leave, Pennsylvania offers various other leave types, such as organ donor leave, pregnancy leave, child care leave, military leave, and jury duty leave, each with its eligibility requirements and benefits.

Pennsylvania Laws on Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a mandatory obligation for all private employers in Pennsylvania. While the state has no paid time off laws, it requires all employers to offer their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for family and medical reasons, as underlined by the FMLA policies.

What you need to know about employer coverage, employee eligibility, leave duration, and specific types of leave under FMLA is here.

Which Pennsylvania Employers fall under FMLA coverage?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) covers all private-sector employers that employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous calendar year. These 50 employees must be within 75 miles of the worksite. It also covers all public agencies, regardless of the number of employees, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools. 

Which Employees qualify for FMLA in Pennsylvania?

Employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, and worked at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles are termed ‘eligible’ under FMLA. Furthermore, while the FMLA sets minimum leave standards, employers can provide more generous leave benefits if they choose to.

How long is the FMLA Leave?

Under FMLA, employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off. However, this period is only applicable for certain family and medical needs, such as: 

  • Serious health condition that makes an employee unable to perform job functions.
  • Leave to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. 
  • FMLA allows eligible employees to take leave for a child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement. 
  • Qualifying exigency if you have a family member on active duty or are called to covered active duty status in the Armed Forces.
  • Military caregivers leave up to 26 weeks to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Organ Donor Leave

Organ donor leave is a provision under FMLA and the Pennsylvania Living Donor Protection Act (LDPA). It allows employees who donate an organ or tissue to take time off to prepare and recover from the surgery. This type of leave is considered a “serious health condition,” allowing eligible employees to take time off for surgery and recovery without risking their job security. 

Eligibility for organ donor leave is the same as FMLA, i.e., it covers all employees who work for an employer with 50 or more employees. In Pennsylvania, at least 12 months of continuous employment with the same employer and at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months are mandatory to be eligible for organ donor leave. 

Pregnancy Leave

Pregnancy leave is covered under the FMLA as a serious health condition. This allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during pregnancy or following childbirth. The leave can be used for prenatal care, pregnancy-related health issues, or recovery after childbirth. 

In addition to the FMLA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is another federal law that protects the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. It prohibits any discrimination against pregnant women regarding hiring, firing, job assignments, pay, etc. 

Child Care Leave

An employee can also use FMLA-paid time off for childcare, allowing eligible employees to take time off to care for a new child. Child care leave allows eligible employees to take time off for the birth and care of a newborn child within 12 months of birth. This leave can also be used for adoption or foster care placement. 

Local Laws for Paid Leave

Employers need to be careful about certain local jurisdictions in Pennsylvania that have their own paid leave ordinances. If your business is located in Philadelphia, Allegheny County, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then here are the PA PTO laws regarding paid sick leave, including eligibility criteria, exemptions, accrual requirements, and rollover provisions.

Sick Leave Laws in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania has no mandatory sick leave provisions, but Philadelphia employers must provide paid or unpaid sick leave depending on the business size. The ordinance ensures workers have time off to address their health needs or care for family members. 

Sick Leave Eligibility

Employees in Philadelphia are eligible for sick leave if they work for at least 40 hours a year. If the employer has 10 or more employees, they should provide paid sick leave, while those with 9 or fewer employees must offer unpaid sick leave. The leave applies to both full-time and part-time employees, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.


There are certain categories of employees exempt from Philadelphia’s sick leave law. This includes: 

  • Independent contractors
  • Seasonal workers
  • Employees hired for less than 6 months
  • Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
  • Interns
  • State and federal employees 

Accrual Requirements

Employees in Philadelphia accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. New employees start accruing paid sick time from their start date, but employers can restrict the time they can use their accrued leave to up to 90 days.

Leave Roll Over/Carried-Forward Requirements

As Philadelphia allows a use-it-or-lose-it policy, employers are not required to allow the rollover of paid sick time to next year. However, it depends on company policies. Also, employees are not entitled to use more than 40 hours of sick leave per year unless the employer’s policy allows it.

Sick Leave Laws in Allegheny County

Allegheny County’s sick leave law mandates paid time off for employees for companies with 26 or more employees. Employers operating in Allegheny County should give preference to the country’s paid sick leave laws over state laws as they provide a more generous minimum amount of paid sick leave to eligible employees.  

Sick Leave Eligibility

Employees who work for an employer with 26 or more employees in Allegheny County are eligible for paid sick leave, provided they work at least 35 hours in a year for the employer. This policy applies to both full-time and part-time employees. 


These employees in Allegheny County are exempt from its sick leave law: 

  • Independent contractors
  • Seasonal workers

Accrual Requirements

Employees in Allegheny County accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. However, employees can allow a higher cap. 

Leave Roll Over/Carried-Forward Requirements

Employers are not required to allow the carryover of unused sick leave in Allegheny County.  However, employers can choose to pay out unused sick leave at the end, as per their policies. 

Sick Leave Laws in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is located within Allegheny County but has its sick leave policies. Employers in Pittsburgh must be aware of these laws to comply. The Pittsburgh sick leave represents a significant step toward supporting workers’ health and public safety by ensuring employees do not have to choose between their health and their paycheck. The Act applies to all private employers operating within the city limits of Pittsburgh, regardless of the size of their business.

Sick Leave Eligibility

Pittsburgh allows all employees to be eligible for sick leave provided they have worked at least 35 hours a year. Smaller employers with fewer than 15 employees can grant unpaid sick leave up to 24 hours per year. Employers with over 15 employees must provide paid sick leave accrued at one hour for every 35 hours worked. 


Certain employees are exempt from Pittsburgh’s sick leave law, including:

  • Independent contractors 
  • Seasonal workers 
  • Employees who are part of construction union covered by collective bargaining agreements
  • State and federal workers 

Accrual Requirements

Employees in Pittsburgh accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. For employers with fewer than 15 employees, the maximum accrual is 24 hours of sick leave per year.

Leave Roll Over/Carried-Forward Requirements

Unused sick leave in Pittsburgh cannot be carried forward to the following year. Employees are not entitled to use more than 40 hours of sick leave in a year unless the employer’s policy allows for more. 

PTO Payout on Termination in Pennsylvania

There are no Pennsylvania PTO payout laws mandating employers pay for accrued, unused vacation time to employees upon termination. The company policies govern all actions regarding the same. 

When employment ends, whether due to resignation, retirement, or termination, what happens to unused vacation time is generally determined by the employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or the employer’s established policy. If an employment contract or agreement explicitly states how unused vacation time is handled upon termination, it will be legally binding. The employer must honor this agreement. Conversely, if the contract states unused vacation time will not be paid out, the employer is not obligated to provide compensation.

Pennsylvania Military Leave

Pennsylvania protects the employment of employees who are in service in the armed forces. The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Pennsylvania Military Affairs Act define the guidelines for employers on how PTO for such employees should be handled. 

USERRA allows service members to take up to 5 years of unpaid time off for military service. It allows service members to continue their employer-based health insurance coverage for up to 24 months while absent from military service. The law protects service members from discrimination in employment based on their military service.

The Pennsylvania Military Affairs Act furthers the protections the USERRA provides for employees called to active duty or required to attend training as members of the Pennsylvania National Guard or other reserve components. The act states that such employees should be reinstated to the same seniority, status, and pay upon return from military service.

Pennsylvania Jury Duty Leave

In Pennsylvania, employers are required to provide employees with leave to serve on a jury or attend jury selection. All employees, whether full-time, part-time, or temporary are entitled to jury duty leave. Employers must provide employees with unpaid time off for jury duty without any workplace repercussions. Employers must not force employees to use any other type of PTO, such as paid sick time off, for jury duty. 

Employers are not required to pay employees for time off for jury duty. However, the courts in Pennsylvania pay employees serving on jury duty at $9.00 a day for the first three days of the service, then $25 a day. 

However, jury duty PA PTO laws don’t apply to employees in retail and service industries with fewer than 15 employees and manufacturing businesses with less than 40 employees. 

Additional State Laws in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the provision of paid holidays, parental leave, and bereavement leave varies across employers.

Paid Holidays

While some employers offer paid holidays as part of their benefits package, others may not provide this perk. The decision to offer paid holidays typically depends on individual company policies and organizational culture.

Paid Parental Leave

Unlike some states with specific laws mandating paid parental leave, Pennsylvania does not have such requirements. As a result, the availability of paid parental leave varies among employers, with some offering generous benefits while others may not provide any paid time off for new parents.

Paid Bereavement Leave 

Similarly, the availability of paid bereavement leave in Pennsylvania is determined by individual employers. While some companies offer paid time off to grieve the loss of a loved one, others may provide unpaid leave or have specific policies addressing bereavement situations.

Overall, the landscape of additional state laws related to paid time off in Pennsylvania highlights the discretion of employers and the importance of understanding company policies. Employees should inquire about these benefits when joining a new organization or refer to their employee handbook for clarification.

How Truein Can Help with Paid Time Off Management?

PTO compliance is not easy, so businesses need tools for it. Truein, an AI-powered time and attendance management solution, can help employees deal with complex regulations, such as federal and local paid leave laws. 

Truein simplifies the process of tracking and approving PTO by offering a centralized platform for managing leave requests and balances. To facilitate PTO management, Truein offers centralized leave management, ensuring employers can easily monitor leave balances, track usage, and handle approvals efficiently. It automates leave accrual calculation and payout based on hours worked or other specified criteria, reducing administrative burden and ensuring accurate leave records.

You can set up custom leave policies tailored to your organization’s needs, defining leave types, accrual rates, and rollover policies, ensuring that PTO management aligns with your company objectives and legal requirements.

“Get centralized and foolproof Time & Attendance for your organization”
Book a Free Demo Now

Start Free Trial
Enter First Name
Enter Last Name
Enter Company Name
Select Employee Size
Enter Work Email Address
Enter Mobile Number


Employers must comply with Pennsylvania PTO laws. With federal and local laws to follow, it is essential to understand these laws and integrate them into company policies for compliance. Tools like Truein offer a robust and versatile solution for PTO management, addressing key challenges employers face in managing paid time off. 

Related Blogs