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Taking Leave From Work

Taking Leave From Work

Do You Need to Take Leave from Your Job?

Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave:

Philadelphia employers must have a sick leave policy as of September 2015. Workplaces with 10 or more employees must provide paid leave. Workplaces with fewer than 10 employees may give you unpaid time off. Sick leave can be used for your own sickness or for a family member. More information can be found below.

If your employer is not following the law, take these steps or contact us by calling 267-281-4230.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for certain covered employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for circumstances involving either the birth or care of a newborn or adopted child, the necessary care of themselves or a family member with a serious health concern, or some military reasons. Employees wishing to take FMLA leave must give their employers proper notice beforehand. In order to be eligible for FLMA, “the employee must work for a covered employer, have worked for that employer for at least 12 months, have worked for at least 1,250 hours during any 12 month period immediately preceding the leave, and work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Covered employers include all public agencies, as well as any public or private elementary or secondary school. Additionally, some private-sector employers are covered if they employ at least “50 employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding year.” 1

Upon return from FMLA-protected leave, employees are entitled to the same or equivalent job position with identical benefits, pay, and all other conditions of employment. During their leave, workers keep all health benefits and are protected from losing their jobs. Employers can violate the FMLA by failing to reinstitute conditions as they were before your leave, firing or otherwise disciplining you for protected absences, or by failing to approve leave for alcohol or drug rehabilitation.

Leave for Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault:

Philadelphia workers can take time off from work for DV or Sexual Assault related reasons, including to attend court. See our flyer explaining how to request this leave and what to disclose to an employer.


What we can do: 

CLS can help you understand whether you are eligible for leave, as well as provide you with information as to what your rights are when you miss work for a family or illness related need. CLS may also be able to help you determine whether your employer has violated your rights and advise you or assist you on the recourse available.  

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
Center City Office

1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 12:00 pm