The State of Sick Leave Policies
As of January 2017, five states (CT, CA, MA, OR, VT) and Washington D.C. required private sector employers to offer paid sick leave. Effective July 1, 2017, Arizona will join the list. Washington’s new paid sick leave law takes effect January 1, 2018. There are, in addition, numerous local governments which have implemented paid sick leave laws over the last few years.
July 1, 2017 sees employers with Arizona employees required to provide at least 40 hours of accrued sick time per year (24 hours for employers with less than 15 employees). All employees, whether full-time or part-time are counted. Beginning July 1st, employees must begin to accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave time for every 30 hours worked. Sick leave includes time off related to domestic and sexual violence or abuse. Sick leave time can be used by the employee for self-care or for care of an immediate family member.
Cities and counties adopting new policies or expanding existing policies to smaller employers effective July 1, 2017 include St. Paul (MN), Chicago, Cook County (IL) and Los Angeles. Other cities and counties with existing paid sick leave laws include Montgomery County (MD), San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Jersey City, Newark (and other New Jersey cities near Newark), San Diego, Oakland, Tacoma, Philadelphia, Berkeley/Emeryville, Pittsburgh, New Brunswick (NJ), Spokane, Santa Monica and Minneapolis.
In Georgia, which does not require employers to provide paid sick leave, effective July 1, 2017, any paid sick leave offered under an existing or new sick leave policy must be able to be used to care for immediate family members. A similar law became effective in Illinois in January of 2017.
Looking ahead to 2018, the state of Washington’s new law will require accrual of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked and also permits sick leave time to be used for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
As the specific requirements for compliance are dependent upon the location of employees, all employers should evaluate their current sick time, vacation and paid time off policies and practices to ensure that they are compliant with state and local law.
If you have questions regarding this publication or need assistance, please contact one of our Employee Benefits Professionals, or the Nelson Mullins attorney with whom you work.
This Brief should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.