January 2, 2015

Paid Sick Leave Becomes Law in the Bay State

And then there were three. With November’s elections, Massachusetts has joined California and Connecticut as the only states that require private employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.

In Massachusetts, voters approved a ballot measure that requires all private employers with 11 or more employees to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of leave per calendar year, reports the Massachusetts & Connecticut Employment Law Blog. According to the blog, “employers with fewer than 11 employees will be required to provide, at minimum, unpaid sick leave to their employees.” The new law takes effect July 1, 2015, and the blog advises employers to revise their policies in order to comply.

Employees will accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours a year. According to the blog, “employees who are exempt from overtime are assumed to work 40 hours a week unless their normal workweek is less than 40 hours.”

Overall the efforts on paid sick leave across the country vary considerably. While USA Today notes a number of cities have passed ordinances requiring leave, at least two states, Florida and Wisconsin, have prohibited municipalities from enacting their own laws in order to avoid a patchwork of policies across a state.