Everyone gets sick – but not everyone’s job is protected when this happens. That’s why states, cities, and counties across America have begun passing mandated paid sick leave laws. Take a look at the collection below to see where in the United States workers are protected, and how far-reaching that protection is.
The Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017, with the following guidelines. All employers, regardless of size, must adhere to the laws that apply to non-exempt and exempt domestic workers:
- One hour of paid sick leave accrues for every 40 hours.
- 'Covered' employees include anyone who performs at least two hours of work in any two-week period while in Chicago.
- 'Covered' employers is any business, company, or person that has at least one 'covered' employee.
- Employees can use a max of 40 hours (or five days) of paid leave in a one-year period, for the following reasons:
- The employee is ill or injured, or needs to receive medical care.
- Caring for an ill or injured family member, or a family member receiving medical care.
- Being a domestic violence or sex offense victim.
- The employee’s workplace or their child’s school/childcare facility is closed due to a public health emergency.
Vermont’s paid sick leave law becomes effective January 1, 2017. Employers with five or more employees who work 31 hours or more per week will be subject to its guidelines:
- Eligible employees can accrue one hour of sick leave for every 52 hours – subject to these caps: From January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 employers can limit the use of sick leave to 24 hours in 12 months. After December 2018, employers can limit the use of sick time to 40 hours in 12 months.
- Employees generally allowed to carry over unused sick time unless the amount exceeds the caps stated above. Employers can elect to pay employees for unused sick time instead of allowing for a carryover – this is not mandatory.
- Employers may impose a 'waiting period' of up to one year for newly hired employees of for current employees who are employed on the law’s effective date. During the waiting period, employees will accrue sick time but cannot use it until the completion of the one-year waiting period.
- Employers can request that employees make 'reasonable efforts' to avoid scheduling routine or preventative health care during work hours. Employers may also require employee to notify the employer as soon as practical in the intent of using paid sick time.
- Employees must be allowed to use sick leave in the smallest time increments that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for other absences or time off policies – not required to permit paid sick time for increments less than an hour.
- Employers must post notice of the law’s requirements in a conspicuous place – must provide notice of sick leave rights to new hires.
Montgomery County, Maryland:
- Employers with five or more employees are subject to paid sick leave laws taking effect October 1, 2016 in this county in Maryland. They must adhere to the following:
- Employees will accrue leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked – subject to caps.
- Workers may earn 56 hours of paid sick leave per year – they may not use more than 80 hours of earned leave per year.
- Employers must notify employees of their entitlement to paid sick and safe leave in a form.
Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton, New Jersey
Laws are in place now that protect all private sector workers employed in these cities. Guidelines include:
- Eligible employees can accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
- Employers with fewer than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave to 24 hours per year.
- Employers with 10 or more employees may cap accrued sick leave at 40 hours per year.
- Child care workers, home health care workers, and food service workers can only be capped at 40 hours per year regardless of their employer’s size.
Jersey City, New Jersey
- Private sector employees who work for employers with more than 10 employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
- Employers with fewer than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave at 24 hours per year.
- Employers with greater than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave at 40 hours per year.
- Part-time and full-time employees have access to paid sick leave.
District of Columbia
The nation’s capital passed the Earned Sick and Leave Amendment Act in 2013, effectively reforming its practices. In Washington, D.C., the amount of sick leave hours are based on the size of employers. Guidelines include:
- Employer with 100+ employees provides one hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked (not to exceed seven days a year).
- Employer with 25-99 employees provides one hour of paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked (not to exceed five days a year).
- Employer with 24 or fewer employees provides one hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked (not to exceed three days a year)
- Tipped restaurant employees are covered under the act.
- Employers are responsible for tracking employee leave and record keeping of accrued hours – employees can now bring a private lawsuit to enforce the law.
All employers with more than four full time employees must provide all workers (part time, full time, and temporary_ paid sick leave, as per the following requirements:
- Employees with more than four but less than 50 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked – not to exceed 40 hours per year. (Up to 40 hours of sick leave can be carried over per year).
- Employers with 50 to 249 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked – not to exceed 56 hours of paid sick leave that can be carried over to the next year.
- Employers with 250 or more employees must provide one hour paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked – not to exceed 72 hours of paid sick leave per year with 72 hours of roll over.
- Employees (full-time, part-time, temporary) accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour per every 40 hours worked.
- Employees can accrue up to 24 hours of sick leave per year – allowed to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave for the next year – can use a combined total of 40 hours in subsequent years.
- Employees may use paid leave after 180 days of employment.
- Employers must provide a workplace notice informing all employees.
The entire state of California and its paid sick leave laws were transformed after the passing of the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Family Act in 2014. The act set the following standards:
- Guarantees up to three days of paid sick leave for all California workers (part-time and full-time) who work for 90 or more days within a year of becoming employed.
- Employees have the choice of three paid sick days upfront or one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
- Businesses are required to show how many hours of paid sick leave employees have earned on their pay stubs
- Businesses required to provide the benefit regardless of their size.
- There is a 30-day window after sick leave that employee cannot be fired unless for another reason that requires disciplinary action.
Just recently, Oregon passed the Oregon Family Leave Act, setting rules for employers to follow when giving their employees sick leave. The City of Portland was a front runner and actually passed its law mandating all employers with six or more employees to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave. The rest of the rules are as follows:
- Employers with 10 employees or more to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave at a rate of employee’s regular rate of pay for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours a year.
- The use of paid sick leave can be allocated towards the diagnosis or treatment of family member – family member extensively defined.
- Employers cannot discipline employees for exercising paid sick leave, but can set terms for required notice unless provided the circumstance.
- If need for sick time is foreseeable and projected to last more than three days, employer may require verification or certification before the sick time commences or as soon as practical (medical certification or certification relating to domestic violence).
- If employer chooses to require verification and documentation for paid sick time, the employer must include the requirement and consequences in paid sick time policy so all employees are aware.
- Employer may discipline employee for not exercising sick time – coming to work sick.
- Employers can choose to front load the 40 hours of paid sick time a year or use an accrual method.
- New businesses that have been operating less than 20 weeks must calculate the number of employees employed after it has employed one or more employees for 90 calendar days.
- Employers must provide written notice of new law to all employees.
- Employers must ensure timekeeping, payroll, and benefits systems properly calculate, track, and detail accrued and used sick time.
The Earned Sick Time Law of 2014 is currently in place in Massachusetts, setting the standard of sick leave for employers with 11 or more employees. Here is what they must follow:
- All employers with one or more employees working in the state need to accrue paid sick time;
Multi-state operators – count into this
1-10 – does not have to be paid
11+ - has to be paid sick time
- Employees can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave per year.
- The law applies to all employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal or, temporary) and excludes public employers and students in work-study programs.
- Employers must post a conspicuous notice in workplace areas and provide a hard copy or electronic copy of the notice for all eligible employees.
- Employee must provide notice, unless the circumstance is unforeseeable – notice must be reasonable under the circumstances.
- Employer can request health documentation if employee has used paid sick leave for more than 24 consecutive scheduled hours, is absent on three consecutive days, is absent two weeks prior to last day before termination, or is absent after four unforeseeable/undocumented absences within a three-month period.
Coming to Connecticut in October 2016 is a specific set of mandates for employers in the state to follow when providing sick leave to their employees. The following guidelines will affect a large portion of citizens in the state:
- Employers with 50 or more employees must provide sick leave to each of its full time and part time workers – with specific caps set on the 50 employee threshold. Fifty-employee threshold determined is on October 1st for the upcoming year by the number of people on the payroll at the time.
- Service worker earns one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
- Workers can earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave (five work days) in a single year.
- Manufacturers, non-profits that provide recreation, child care and educations services, and employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from paid sick leave mandate.
- Employees can choose to roll-over their paid sick leave days.