Government-Mandated Sick Leave in Allegheny County

Summary of Study

A proposed ordinance would impose a paid sick leave mandate on businesses in Allegheny County as has been done in the City of Pittsburgh.  The county ordinance states that employees of businesses that have 15 or more employees can accrue no more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year.  If the business has fewer than 15 employees, the cap is 24 hours in a calendar year.

This is government again presuming that it knows that a business with 18 employees can afford greater requirements than a business with 14 employees.  It also does not anticipate that businesses that may have planned to hire more workers and exceed the 15 employee level might avoid doing so because of the mandate. 

As we reiterated in previous research, “a healthy, dynamic small business community is very important. Why endanger that or make it more difficult with more heavy handed government?”

Read the full policy brief here

Feature Charticle

Allegheny Institute for Public Policy


  • Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s data for County Business Patterns by Legal Form of Organization and Employment Size Class, in 2018 there were 33,732 establishments in Allegheny County with 705,835 employees.
  • Of the establishments, 22,831 (68 percent) had fewer than 10 employees.
  • The hard-hit classification of accommodation and food services counted 3,395 establishments and 66,624 employees in 2018.

Read the full policy brief here