Vacation Leave          Holidays           Bereavement
 
Voting Leave          Jury Duty          Sick Leave          Parental Leave

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.  Users are advised to seek legal advice from their legal counsel prior to taking (or omitting to take) any action based on the information contained herein.  While we periodically review and update the information contained herein, we do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and the information should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. This information was constructed on October 15th 2018.

Are Employees entitled to time off [eg. Vacations, sick leave or holidays] in the United States as per Federal Legislation?

Under Section 207(3)(e) of the FLSA, regular rate has been defined not to include payments made for occasional periods when no work is performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, failure of the employer to provide sufficient work or other similar cause, reasonable payments for travelling expenses or other expenses incurred by an employee in the furtherance of his employer’s interests and properly reimbursable by the employer.

In other words, the FLSA does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or holidays. These benefits are usually a matter of agreement between an Employer and an Employee.

The FMLA is designed to provide employees with temporary job security when faced with certain health-related care responsibilities that preclude them from working. However, it does not provide paid leave.

The FMLA compels employers who employ 50 or more employees to grant qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for:

  • Birth and care of the Employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the Employee;
  • Birth and care of the Employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee;
  • Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or
  • care of the employee’s own serious health condition.

An Employee will be eligible for FMLA if they have:

  1. Worked at least 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive) for the Employer
  2. Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the FLMA leave date begins.

Further, if the Employee is a family member (spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin) of the Armed Forces, the Employer will provide up to 26 weeks unpaid leave to care for a member of the Armed Forces who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy. This also extends to members of the National Guard or Reserves.

Are employees entitled to sick leave in the following states?

 

Alabama

Alabama law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer is not required by Alabama law to pay accrued sick leave benefits to employees upon separation from employment.

An employer in Alabama may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws as stated above.

Alaska

Alaska leave laws do not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer in Alaska may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Arizona

From July 1, 2017, all employers are required to provide paid sick to employees who work in Arizona.

Under Proposition 206, otherwise known as the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees will be granted paid sick leave mandated by law, earning a minimum of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.

Employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide at least 24 hours of paid sick leave each year. Businesses with 15 or more employees must provide a minimum of 40 hours yearly.

Arkansas

Arkansas law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer in Arkansas may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

California

As per the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, California requires most employers to provide sick leave to most employees.

Eligible employees

All employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment are eligible to pay sick leave under California’s paid sick leave law, except for the following:

  1. employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that covers wages, hours, and other employee working conditions that contains provisions for the following:
    • paid sick days or other paid time off that may be used for sick leave,
    • final and binding arbitration of disputes about the use of paid leave for sickness,
    • premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked, and
    • regular hourly rates that are not less than 30% more than the state minimum wage rate.
  1. Employees in the construction industry who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for:
    • wages, hours of work, and employee working conditions;
    • premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked; and
    • regular hourly pay that is not less than 30% more than the state minimum wage rate.
And meets one of these two requirements:
    • was entered into before January 1, 2015, or
    • clearly and unambiguously waives the requirements of California’s sick leave law.

For purposes of this law, an employee working in the construction industry includes:

[CA Labor Code, Section 245.5(a), 246(a)]

Covered Employers

All employers in California are required to provide paid sick leave to all employees unless the employee is exempt from coverage as discussed above. [CA Labor Code, Section 245.5(b)]

Sick Leave Accrual

Under California’s sick leave law, employees are to accrue one (1) hour of sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.

Accrual of sick leave begins on the first day of an employee’s employment (if an employee began working before July 1, 2015, accrual begins from that date).

Employers must allow employees to carry over sick leave from one year to the next unless the employer provides employees with their entire annual sick leave amount at the beginning of the year.

Employers may cap an employee’s total accrued sick leave at forty-eight (48) hours. For accrual purposes, administrative, executive, and professional employees who are exempt from California’s overtime requirements are deemed to work forty (40) hours per week for purposes of sick leave accrual.

Employers may choose to allow employees to take a credit against future sick leave accruals so long as the advance is properly documented.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(b), (d), and (g)]

Permitted Uses

An employee may use paid sick leave:

  • for diagnosis, care, or treatment of his or her own existing health condition or the existing health condition of a family member;
  • for the employee’s preventative care or the preventative care of a family member;
  • when he or she is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and he or she is:
    • seeking to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the employee or his or her child;
    • seeking medical attention for any injuries;
    • obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center;
    • obtaining psychological counseling related to the experience(s);
    • participating in safety planning and taking other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including temporary or permanent relocation.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246.5(a)230(c), 230.1(a)]

Family member defined

For purposes of the California sick leave law, a family member includes:

  • a child, regardless of age or dependency status, including a biological child, adopted child, foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis
  • a parent, including a biological parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child
  • a spouse
  • registered domestic partner
  • a grandparent
  • a grandchild
  • a sibling

[CA Labor Code, Section 245.5(c)]

Eligibility to Use Sick Leave

Although employees begin accruing sick leave on the day they begin working for an employer, they may only begin using accrued sick leave after they have worked a minimum of ninety (90) days for the employer. 

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(c)]

Annual and other use limits

An employer may limit an employee’s use of sick leave to twenty-four (24) hours in a year. [CA Labor Code, Section 246(d)]

Employers may set reasonable time increments (e.g., 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.) they will charge employees when they use sick leave, but in no case shall the time increments exceed two hours. [CA Labor Code, Section 246(j)]

The rate of Pay Required

Employers must pay employees for sick leave at the employee’s regular wage rate. If employees in the first 90 days of employment, when they are ineligible to take paid sick leave, were paid different hourly wage rates, were paid by commission or piece rate, or were nonexempt salaried employees, then the employer must calculate the rate of pay by dividing the total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the total hours worked in the full pay periods of the prior 90 days of employment. 

[CA Labor Code, Section 245.5(e), 246(k)]

Payment after use of sick leave

Employers must pay employees for sick leave no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the leave was taken.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(m)]

Payment of Accrued Sick Leave upon Separation from Employment

An employer is not required to pay employees for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(f)(1)]

Rehired employees

An employee who is rehired by the same employer within a year is entitled to the reinstatement of all previously accrued sick leave and may begin to use the sick leave on the first day of rehire. The reason for the employee’s initial separation from employment does not matter.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(f)(2)]

Alternative Eligible Leave Policies

An employer is considered to be in compliance with California’s sick leave law if it offers any other paid leave or combination of paid leave, such as vacation, personal days, or paid time off, that:

  • provides at least 24 hours of paid leave each year of employment, calendar year, or designated 12-month period that may be used for the purposes required by California’s sick leave law; and
  • meets the accrual, carry over, and use requirements of California’s sick leave law.

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(e)]

Employer Notice Requirement

An employer must provide employees in writing the amount of sick leave, or qualifying paid leave alternative, they have available. The written notice may be listed on the employees’ statement of wages (pay stub) or provided on a separate document delivered to the employee on the designated pay date. [CA Labor Code, Section 246(h)]

At the time of hire, an employer must provide to each employee a written notice, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate information to employees, of the following:

  • that employees are entitled to accrue, request, and use paid sick leave,
  • their employer may not terminate or otherwise retaliate against them for using or requesting to use accrued sick leave, and
  • they have a right to file a claim against their employer with the California Department of Industrial Relations.

[CA Labor Code, Section 2810.5]

The California Department of Industrial Relations has published a Notice to Employees form that employers may fill out and distribute to new employees that contains the necessary sick leave notice information as well as other required initial hire notice information. (EnglishSpanishVietnamese)

Additionally, an employer must display a poster in a conspicuous place that contains the following information:

  • that employees are entitled to accrue, request, and use paid sick leave,
  • the number of sick days provided for by the California sick leave law,
  • the terms of sick leave use, and
  • that retaliation for requesting or using sick leave is prohibited and that employees have a right to file a claim against the employer with the California Department of Industrial Relations.

[CA Labor Code, Section 247]

Employee Notice Requirement

An employer may require employees to provide reasonable advanced notice of their intention to use sick leave if the use is foreseeable. If the need for sick leave is unforeseeable, an employer may require employees to provide notice of their intention to use sick leave as soon as practicable. Employees may provide necessary notice verbally or in writing. 

[CA Labor Code, Section 246(f)(2)]

Prohibited practices

California’s sick leave law prohibits an employer from:

  • denying an employee the right to use accrued sick leave;
  • discharging, threatening to discharge, demoting, suspending, or taking any other adverse action against an employee for:
  • using or attempting to use sick leave,
  • filing a complaint with the California Department of Industrial Relations,
  • alleging a violation of the sick leave law,
  • cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of the sick leave law,
  • opposing any policy or practice or act that is prohibited, and
  • requiring employees to search for or find replacement workers to work on the days they will be using sick leave

[CA Labor Code, Section 246.5(b), (c)(1)]

Retaliation and presumed violations

Under California’s sick leave law, an employer will be presumed to have retaliated against an employee and violated the law if it denies an employee the right to use sick leave, discharges, threatens, demotes, suspends, or takes any other adverse employment action against the employee within thirty (30) days after the employee has:

  • filing a complaint with the California Department of Industrial Relations,
  • cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of the sick leave law, or
  • opposing a policy, practice, or other act that is prohibited by the sick leave law.

The employer may overcome the presumption by showing sufficient evidence that the adverse employment action was taken for other, non-discriminatory reasons. [CA Labor Code, Section 246.5(c)(2)]

Employees may also qualify for payment for sick leave through California’s State Disability Insurance program or its Paid Family Leave program.

Colorado

Colorado law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.  If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer in Colorado may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Connecticut

Minimum Employees Requirement

Most employers in Connecticut with fifty (50) or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave to their service workers. [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4)]; [Conn. Stat.31-57s(a)]

Employers with fifty (50) or more employees that are not required to provide paid sick leave to service workers include:

  • manufacturing employers as classified in sector 31, 32, or 33 in the North American Industrial Classification System; and
  • nationally chartered organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provides all of the following services: recreation, child care, and education.

[Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4)]

It is important to note that, although employers are only required to provide paid sick leave to service workers, an employer does not need to have fifty (50) or more service workers to meet the minimum employee requirement. They must have fifty (50) or more employees which may include both service workers and non-service workers.

Determining if an Employer Has Fifty (50) Employees

An employer is deemed to have fifty (50) or more employees if they had (50) or more employees in any one quarter of the previous calendar year. Whether the employer meets this requirement is based on wage information submitted to the Connecticut Labor Commission pursuant to [Conn. Stat. 31-225a(j)]. [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4)]

Service Workers

Service workers are those employees that:

[Conn. Stat. 31-57r(7)]

Day or temporary workers do not fall within the definition of a service worker for purposes of Connecticut’s sick leave law. [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(7)] Day or temporary workers are employees who perform work on a per diem basis or an occasional or irregular basis for only the time required to complete such work. [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(2)]

Sick Leave Accrual

Service workers begin to accrue paid sick leave on the date they are hired. They are to accrue one (1) hour of sick leave for every forty (40) hours worked. Annual sick leave accrual is capped at forty (40) total hours. Service workers may carry over up to forty (40) hours of sick leave from one year to the next; however, they are only legally entitled to use up to forty (40) hours of sick leave in a year. Conn. Stat. 31-57s(a) An employer may provide sick leave accrual and use benefits that exceed those required by Connecticut’s sick leave law. [Conn. Stat. 31-57u(a)]

A service worker who stopped working for an employer, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, are considered new employees for purposes of Connecticut’s sick leave law if they are subsequently rehired. They must meet all minimum requirement before using sick leave. Moreover, they are not entitled to any unused hours of paid sick leave they had at the time employment stopped unless agreed to by the employer. [Conn. Stat. 31-57u(c)]

Eligibility to Use Sick Leave

Although service works begin accruing sick leave on the day they begin working for an employer, they may only begin using accrued sick leave after they have worked a minimum of six hundred and eighty (680) hours for the employer. [Conn. Stat. 31-57s(b)]

Service workers that did not work an average of ten (10) or more hours per week in the most recently completed calendar quarter are not entitled to use accrued sick leave. [Conn. Stat. 31-57s(b)]

The rate of Pay Required

Employers must pay service workers for sick leave at a rate equal to the greater of either:

  • the service worker’s normal hourly wage; or
  • the state minimum wage rate in effect at the time the sick leave is taken

[Conn. Stat. 31-57s(d)]

For service workers with a varying hourly wage rate, the normal hourly wage is the average hourly wage for the service worker in the pay period prior to the one in which the service worker takes sick leave. [Conn. Stat. 31-57s(d)]

Alternative Eligible Leave Policies

An employer is considered to be in compliance with Connecticut’s sick leave law if it offers any other paid leave or combination of paid leave, such as vacation, personal days, or paid time off, that:

  • may be used for the purposes required by Connecticut’s sick leave law; and
  • is accrued at the same or greater rate than that required by Connecticut’s sick leave law.

[Conn. Stat. 31-57s(c)]

Payment of Accrued Sick Leave upon Separation from Employment

An employer is not required to pay employees for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless the employer has a policy or collective bargaining agreement that requires it. [Conn. Stat. 31-57t(d)]

Permitted Uses

A service worker may use paid sick leave:

  • for his or her own
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • for his or her child’s or spouse’s
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • when he or she is a victim of family violence or sexual assault
    • for medical care or psychological or other counselling for physical or psychological injury or disability;
    • to obtain services from a victim services organization
    • to relocate; or
    • to participate in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the family violence or sexual assault

[Conn. Stat. 31-57t(a)]

A child includes a biological, adopted, or foster child; stepchild; legal ward of a service worker; or a child of a service worker standing in loco parentis, who is under eighteen (18) years of age or over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(1)]

Service Worker Notice Requirement

An employer may require a service worker to provide advanced notice of his or her intention to use sick leave if the use is foreseeable. The notice requirement may not exceed seven (7) days. If the need for sick leave is unforeseeable, an employer may require a service worker to provide notice of his or her intention to use sick leave as soon as practicable. [Conn. Stat. 31-57t(b)]

Documentation Requirements

For sick leave lasting three or more consecutive days, an employer may require a service worker to provide reasonable documentation that the leave is taken for reasons permitted by Connecticut’s sick leave law. For leave related to the illness, injury, or health condition of a service worker or his or her child or spouse, documentation signed by a health care provider indicating the need for the number of days of such leave is considered reasonable documentation. For leave related to family violence or sexual assault, documentation signed by a service worker or volunteer working for a victim services organization, an attorney, a police officer, or other counsellors shall be considered reasonable documentation. [Conn. Stat. 31-57t(b)]

Employer Notice Requirement

An employer must provide each service worker at the time he or she is hired notice:

  • of the entitlement to sick leave, the amount of sick leave provided, and the terms under which the sick leave may be used;
  • that retaliation for requesting or using sick leave as provided is prohibited; and
  • that he or she may file a complaint with Connecticut’s Labor Commissioner if the employer fails to provide sick leave as required

[Conn. Stat. 31-57w]

An employer may meet it notice requirement by displaying a poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to service workers, at the employer’s place of business that contains the information listed above in both English and Spanish.

Sick Leave Donation

An employer may establish a policy that permits service workers to donate accrued sick leave to another service worker. [Conn. Stat. 31-57u(b)]

Retaliation Prohibited

An employer may not take any retaliatory personnel action or discriminate against an employee for:

  • requesting to use or using paid sick leave in accordance with Connecticut’s sick leave law or in accordance with the employer’s own sick leave policy, or
  • filing a complaint with Connecticut’s Labor Commissioner alleging the employer violated Connecticut’s sick leave law.

[Conn. Stat. 31-57v(a)]

A retaliatory personnel action is defined as “any termination, suspension, constructive discharge, demotion, unfavourable reassignment, refusal to promote, disciplinary action or other adverse employment action taken by an employer against an employee or a service worker.” [Conn. Stat. 31-57r(6)]

Employers that are found to have retaliated against an employer for the reasons listed above are liable for a civil penalty of $500 for each violation. Employers that are found to have violated any other provisions Connecticut’s sick leave law are liable for a civil penalty of $100 dollars for each violation. An employer may also be ordered to provide an employee with all appropriate relief, including that payment of, used paid sick leave, rehiring or reinstatement to the employee’s previous job, payment of back wages, and reestablishment of benefits. [Conn. Stat. 31-57v(c)]

Delaware

In Delaware, employers are not required to provide employees with sick leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

[19 Del.C. 1109Lloyd v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, 1985 Del. Super. LEXIS 1194 (1985)]

An employer in Delaware may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

District of Columbia

Employer Requirements

The District of Columbia requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with paid sick leave, although the amount of sick leave required to be given employees differs based on the size of the employer.

If an employer has 100 or more employees, the employer must provide each employee not less than one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked by an employee. An employer may cap the annual accrual of sick leave for each employee at 7 days.

If an employer has between 25 and 99 employees, the employer must provide each employee not less than one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked by an employee. An employer may cap the annual accrual of sick leave for each employee at 5 days.

If an employer has 24 or fewer employees, the employer must provide each employee not less than one hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked by an employee. An employer may cap the annual accrual of sick leave for each employee at 3 days.

The number of employees an employer has for purposes of the sick leave requirements is based on the average number of full-time equivalent employees the employer has each month in the prior calendar year.

[D.C. Code 32-131.02(a)]

Beauty, Hair, and Nail Salon Wage Rate Calculation

If a beauty, hair, or nail salon pays its employees by commission, the wage rate to be paid for paid sick leave shall be determined by dividing the employee’s total earnings in wages and commissions from the prior calendar year by the total number of hours worked as a commission employee in the prior calendar year. If the employee did not work as a commissioned employee in the prior calendar year, the wage rate shall be determined by dividing the total earning in wages and commissions for the current year by the total hours worked by the employee in the current year as a commissioned employee.
[D.C. Code 32-131.02(f)]

Annual Use, Carry Over, and Payment Upon Separation from Employment

An employer is only required to allow an employee to take paid sick leave during a calendar year up to the amount the employee is legally allowed to accrue in a given year. However, an employer must allow an employee to carry over from one calendar year to the next any unused accrued sick leave. An employer is not required to pay an employee for unused accrued sick leave upon separation from employment regardless of whether the separation is due to a discharge or voluntary resignation.

[D.C. Code 32-131.02(c)]

Lawful Reasons for Use

Employees may use accrued paid sick leave for any of the following reasons:

  • a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition of the employee;
  • to obtain professional medical or preventative care;
  • to care for a child, a parent, a spouse, domestic partner, or any other family member who has any of the conditions or needs for diagnosis or care described in paragraphs (1) and (2); or
  • if the employee or the employee’s family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse and the absence is directly related to social or legal services related to the stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, including:
    • to seek medical attention for the employee or the employee’s family member to resulting from the physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic violence or sexual abuse;
    • to obtain services from a victim services organization;
    • to obtain psychological or other counselling;
    • to temporarily or permanently relocate;
    • to take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from domestic violence or sexual abuse; or
    • to take other actions to enhance the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to enhance the safety of those who associate or work with the employee.

[D.C. Code 32-131.02(b)]

Although employees are entitled to take sick leave, they must make reasonable efforts to schedule any leave so that it does not unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. Additionally, the employee may agree to work additional hours or shifts during the same or next pay period instead of taking paid sick leave. However, the employer cannot compel the employee to do so.

[D.C. Code 32-131.02(d)]

Loss of Income Requirement

If an employee does not suffer a loss of income when absent from work, an employer is not required to provide paid sick leave.

[D.C. Code 32-131.02(e)]

Employer’s Notice Requirement

An employer is required to post in a conspicuous place a notice, provided by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, setting forth the pertinent provisions of the paid sick leave law.

[D.C. Code 32-131.09]

Employee’s Notice Requirement

To be eligible to take paid sick leave, if the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee must provide his/her employer at least ten (10) days written notice, or as early as otherwise possible, of the need for the leave and must include in the notice the reason for the leave and its expected duration. If the need for the leave is unforeseeable, the employee must make an oral request for the leave before the start of the shift for which they intend to take the leave. In the case of an emergency, the employee must notify the employer by the start of his/her next work shift or within 24 hours, whichever occurs first.
[D.C. Code 32-131.03]

For an employee who take three (3) or more consecutive days of paid leave, an employer may require the employee provide certification of the reason for the leave. The certification may take the form of:

  • a signed document from a healthcare provider
  • a police report indicating the employee was a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse;
  • a court order; or
  • a signed statement from a victim and witness advocate or domestic violence counsellor affirming the employee is involved in legal action related to stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse.

[D.C. Code 32-131.04]

Florida

In Florida, employers are not required to provide employees with sick leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Florida may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

 

Georgia

In Georgia, employers are not required to provide employees with sick leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Georgia may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Hawaii

Hawaii law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.

If an employer chooses to provide employees with sick leave benefits, the employer must provide employees with written notice of the terms of the policy. [Haw. Rev. Stat. 388-7]. An employee may be entitled to unpaid sick leave under Hawaii’s Family Leave Law.

An employer in Hawaii may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Idaho

Idaho law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Idaho may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Illinois

Illinois law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.

An employer in Illinois may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Indiana

Indiana law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.

If an employer chooses to provide sick leave, it must give employees written notice of the terms of the policy.

An employer in Indiana may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Iowa

Iowa law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Iowa may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Kansas

Kansas law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.  An employer in Kansas may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Kentucky

Kentucky law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Kentucky may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Louisiana

Louisiana law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Louisiana may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

 

Maine

Maine law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.

An employer in Maine may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with Maine’s FMLA’s Requirements and the federal FMLA or other federal laws.

Maryland

Eligible employees

Employees who work in Maryland are eligible to receive sick and safe leave except for individuals who:

have entered into contracts agreeing that they are not performing work as employees pursuant to Maryland Labor and Employment 8-205
  • is a licensed real estate salesperson or a licensed associate real estate broker; is affiliated with a licensed real estate broker under a written agreement; is compensated solely on a commission basis; and for federal tax purposes, qualifies as an independent contractor. See Maryland Labor and Employment 8-205
  • are under the age of 18 before the beginning of the year
  • are employed in the agricultural sector on agricultural operations which include the processing of agricultural crops or on-farm production, harvesting, or marketing of any agricultural, horticultural, silvicultural, aquacultural, or apicultural product that has been grown, raised, or cultivated by the farmer. See Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings 5-403
  • are employed by temporary services agencies to provide temporary staffing services to another person if the temporary services agencies do not have day-to-day control over the work assignments and supervision of the individuals while they are providing the temporary staffing services
  • are directly employed by employment agencies to provide part-time or temporary services to another person
  • regularly work less than 12 hours per week
  • are employed in the construction industry and are covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement that expressly, clearly, and unambiguously waives the requirements of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • employees employed in the following jobs are not considered to be employed in the construction industry
    • janitor
    • building cleaner
    • building security officer
    • concierge
    • doorperson
    • handyperson
    • building superintendent
  • are called to work on an as-needed basis in a health or human services industry and
    • can reject or accept offered shift;
    • is not guaranteed to be called to work; and
    • is not employed by a temporary staffing agency

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1301(E), 3-1303(A), (B)]

Covered Employers

For purposes of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act, the term employer includes:

  • a unit of state or local government, and
  • a person that acts directly or indirectly in the interest of another employer with an employee.

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1301(F)]

Also, although it is not stated explicitly, the term employer includes any entity that employs an individual who is not exempt from coverage of the Act. Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation Maryland Healthy Working Families Act Information

Paid versus unpaid sick and safe leave

Employers that employ 15 or more employees must provide paid sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(A)(1)(I)]

Employers that employ 14 or fewer employees must provide unpaid sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(A)(1)(II)]

The number of employees an employer has is determined by calculating the average monthly number of employees employed by the employer during the immediately preceding year. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(A)(2)(I)]

This calculation must include full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees. It also includes employees who may not be eligible for sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(A)(2)(II)]

Sick and safe leave accrual

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act allows employers to provide sick and safe leave using one of two methods.

Under the first method, employers may provide employees with sick and safe leave by allowing them to accrue at least one (1) hour of sick and safe leave for every 30 hours they work. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(B)]

This is often referred to as the accrual method. Employees who are exempt from overtime wage requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are assumed to work forty (40) hours each week. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(E)]

Additionally, employers are not required to award employees sick and safe leave in any of the following circumstances:

  • employers who pay employees every two weeks do not have to award sick and safe leave to employees during pay periods when they work fewer than twenty-four (24) total hours [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(5)(I)]
  • employers who pay employees once per week do not have to award sick and safe leave to employees when they work fewer than twenty-four (24) total hours during the current and preceding weeks pay period Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(5)(II)
  • employers who pay employees twice per month do not have to award sick and safe leave to employees during pay periods when they work fewer than twenty-six (26) total hours Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(5)(III)

Under the second method, employers may award employees at the beginning of the year the full amount of sick and safe leave that they would earn under the one (1) hour for thirty (30) hours worked accrual method. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(D)] This is often referred to as the lump sum method.

Under either method of providing sick and safe leave, employers are not required to provide employees with more than forty (40) hours of sick and safe leave each year. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(1)]

Additionally, employers may limit the total number of hours employees may carry at any given to sixty-four (64) hours. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(3)]

Employers must allow employees to begin accruing sick and safe time on January 1, 2018, or if hired after January 1, 2018, on the date the employees begin working for the employer. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(F)]

Carryover from year to year

Employers who use the accrual method for providing sick and safe leave to employees must allow employees to carry over at least forty (40) hours of unused sick and safe leave from one year to the next. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(G)(1), (2)]

Employers are not required to allow employees to carry over unused sick and safe leave from one year to the next if:

  • the employer uses the lump sum method for providing sick and safe leave to employees, or
  • the employee is employed by a nonprofit entity or a governmental unit in accordance with a grant, the duration of which is limited to one (1) year and is not subject to renewal

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(G)(3)]

Year defined

Unless required otherwise, employers may define when a year begins for purposes of sick and safe leave accrual and use so long as the year is a regular and consecutive 12-month period. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1301(L)This means employers may use the calendar year, anniversary year, fiscal year or any other 12-month period it prefers.

Permitted Uses

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act requires employers to allow employees to use sick and safe leave for the following purposes:

  • to care for or treat the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or condition
  • to obtain preventive medical care for the employee or employee’s family member
  • to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or condition
  • for maternity or paternity leave
  • if absence from work is due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or the employee’s family member and the leave is being used by the employee:
    • to obtain for the employee or the employee’s family member
    • medical or mental health attention that is related to the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
    • services from a victim services organization related to the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
    • legal services or proceedings related to or resulting from the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
    • during the time that the employee has temporarily relocated due to the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(A)]

Family member defined

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act which requires employers to provide sick and safe leave to eligible employees defines the term family member to include:

  • a biological child, an adopted child, a foster child, or a stepchild of the employee
  • a child for whom the employee has legal or physical custody or guardianship
  • a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of the child’s age
  • a biological parent, an adoptive parent, a foster parent, or a stepparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the legal guardian of the employee
  • an individual who acted as a parent or stood in loco parentis to the employee or the employee’s spouse when the employee or the employee’s spouse was a minor
  • the spouse of the employee
  • a biological grandparent, an adopted grandparent, a foster grandparent, or a step-grandparent of the employee
  • a biological grandchild, an adopted grandchild, a foster grandchild, or a step-grandchild of the employee
  • a biological sibling, an adopted sibling, a foster sibling, or a step-sibling of the employee

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1301(E)]

New employees wait-to-use period

Employers are not required to allow employees to use accrued sick and safe leave until they have worked for the employer for at least 106 calendar days. 

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(4)]

Sick and safe leave use requirements and limits

Employers must allow employees to use up to sixty-four (64) hours of sick and safe time each year. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(C)(2)]

Employers may, but are not required to, allow employees to use sick and safe leave before it is accrued. They may also deduct the amount paid for the unearned but used sick and safe leave from employees’ wage upon separation from employment if the employees have consented to the deduction in written and signed documents. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(I)]

Employers may require employees to use a sick and safe leave in increments that do not exceed four (4) hours. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(E)(2)] Unless employers have specifically designated the increment amount of sick and safe leave employees may take, employees may take sick and safe leave in the smallest increment that the employers’ payroll system uses to account for absences or use of the employees’ work time. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(E)(1)]

Payment for accrued sick and safe leave upon separation from employment

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act does not require employers to pay employees for accrued but unused sick and safe leave when employees leave employment with their employers. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(B)(1)3-1304(J)] This includes any form of separation from employment including resignation, termination, retirement, layoff, and death of the employee.

Rehired employees

Employers must reinstate any unused sick and safe leave to employees who are rehired within thirty-seven (37) weeks of originally leaving employment unless the employers voluntarily paid employees for their unused sick and safe leave when they originally left employment. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(H)]

Successor employers

Employers who acquire other employers by sale or otherwise must allow employees who remain employed with the successor employers to retain the full amount of unused sick and safe leave accrued during employment with the previous employer. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(K)]

Alternative eligible leave policies

Employers are not required to change their existing leave policies, including vacation, sick, short-term disability, floating holidays, parental leave, and similar leave policies if:

  • the policy permits employees to accrue and use leave under terms and conditions that are the same or better than those required by Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • the policy does not reduce employees’ compensation for absences permitted by Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(A),(B)(2)]

An alternative leave policy will be presumed to meet the minimum requirements of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act if:

  • employees accrue leave and may access it at the same or greater rate than required by the Act
  • employees may use their accrued leave for the purposes required by the Act

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(C)]

Employee notice of use requirements

When the need to use sick and safe leave is foreseeable, employers may require employees to provide not more than seven (7) days advance notice. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(B)(1)]

When the need to use sick and safe leave is unforeseeable, employers may require employees to:

  • provide notice as soon as practicable, and
  • generally, comply with the employer’s notice or procedural requirement for requesting or reporting other leave as long as those requirements do not interfere with employees’ ability to use sick and safe leave

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(B)(2)]

Employers may deny requests to use sick and safe leave if:

  • employees fail to provide the required notice and the employees’ absences will cause disruptions to the employers
  • the employer is a private employer licensed under Maryland Health-General Title 7 or 10 to provide services to developmentally disabled or mentally ill individuals and
  • the need to use sick and safe leave is foreseeable
  • the employer is unable to find a suitable replacement after exercising reasonable efforts
  • the employee’s absence will cause a disruption of services to at least one (1) individual with a developmental disability or mental illness

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(B)(3)]

Additionally, employers may deny employees requests to use sick and safe leave if they failed to provide required verification of proper use and the current request for leave is for the same reason as the prior unverified leave use. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(G)(2)]

Verification of proper use

Employers may require employees who use sick and safe leave to provide verification that the leave was used for an appropriate purpose when:

  • the leave lasted two (2) consecutive scheduled shifts, or
  • employees used the leave between the 107 and 120 calendar days (both inclusive) of employment and the employees agreed to provide verification at the time of hire

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(G)(1)]

If employees fail to provide verification as required, employers may deny the employees’ subsequent request to use sick and safe leave for the same reason. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(G)(2)]

Restaurant industry and tipped employees

Employers are not required to pay tipped employees more than minimum wage for sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1304(A)(III)]

Employers in the restaurant industry and their employees who are compensated as tipped employees as defined in Maryland Labor and Employment 3-419 may mutually agree to allow the employees to work additional hours or trade shifts with other employees instead of using accrued sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(2)(I)]

To avoid being credited with using sick and safe leave, employees must work the additional hours or trade shifts with other employees during the same or following pay period. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(1)(I), (2)(I)(2)]

Employers may not require employees to accept additional hours or trade shifts instead of taking sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(1)(II), (2)(I)(2)]

Additionally, employers must assume responsibility for arranging coverage of employees’ shifts. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(2)(I)(3)]

Employers do not need to consent to employees’ request to make up hours or trade shifts if it would result in the employers being required to pay the employees overtime. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(3)]

If employees request employers to arrange coverage of a shift, employers may offer employees the choice of:

  • being paid minimum wage for time missed due to sick and safe leave purposes, or
  • working equivalent shifts of the same duration in the same or following pay period

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(2)(II)(1)]

If employers do not offer employees the option to work equivalent shifts, employers must pay employees minimum wage for all sick and safe leave taken. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(D)(2)(III)]

For purposes of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act, restaurant means an establishment that:

  • accommodates the public,
  • is equipped with a dining room with facilities for preparing and serving regular meals, and
  • has average daily receipts from the sale of food that exceed the average daily receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1301(I)]

Discipline for misuse

Employers may adopt and enforce policies that prohibit employees from using sick and safe leave for purposes that are not permitted by Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act or for using sick and safe leave that demonstrates a pattern of abuse. 

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(B)(5)]

Employer notice requirements

Each time employees are paid, employers are required to provide in writing a statement indicating the amount of earned sick and safe leave available for employees to use. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(F)(1)]

The statement may be provided electronically through online systems. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(F)(2)]

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act also requires employers to notify employees:

  • they are entitled to earn sick and safe leave
  • how sick and safe leave is accrued
  • the purposes for which sick and safe leave may be used
  • they will not be disciplined or otherwise penalized for:
  • requesting to use or using sick and safe leave, or
  • filing or participating in a complaint against the employer for failing to comply with the requirements of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • they may not file a complaint, bring an action or testify in an action against their employers in bad faith

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1306(A),(B)]

The Commissioner of Labor and Industry publishes a free poster and model notice that employers may use to comply with their notice requirements. 

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1306(C)(1)]

Recordkeeping

Employers are required to keep for at least three (3) years a record of:

  • earned sick and safe leave accrued by employees, and
  • earned sick and safe leave used by employees

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1307]

Employers who fail to keep the required records or refuse to allow the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to inspect them are subject to a rebuttable presumption that they failed to comply with Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1307(B),(C)(1)]

The Commissioner may waive any penalties assessed against employers who fail to keep the required records due to an error caused by a third-party payroll service provider with whom the employers contracted for services in good faith. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1307(C)(2)]

Prohibited practices

Employers may not require employees to search for or find other employees to work in their place during the time they are taking sick and safe leave. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1305(C)]

Employees are prohibited from taking the following actions in bad faith:

  • filing a complaint with the Commissioner of Labor and Industry alleging a violation of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • bringing a legal action against an employer alleging a violation of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • testify in a legal action against an employer alleging a violation of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1310(A)]

An employee who takes any of the above actions in bad faith is guilty of a misdemeanour and, if convicted, may be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000. Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1310(B)

Discrimination and retaliation

A person, including employers, may not interfere with an employee’s exercise or attempt to exercise their rights under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1309(B)]

An employer may not:

  • take adverse action or discriminate against an employee because they exercise in good faith their rights under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • interfere with, restrain, or deny an employee’s ability to exercise their rights in good faith under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act
  • apply absence control policies that may lead to or result in adverse actions being taken against employees for using sick and safe leave

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1309(C), (D)]

An adverse action includes:

  • discharge
  • demotion
  • threatening an employee with discharge or demotion
  • any other retaliatory action that results in a change to the terms or conditions of employment that would dissuade a reasonable employee from exercising a right under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1309(A)]

Filing a complaint, complaint procedure, and penalties

Employees who believe their employers have violated Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act may file a written complaint with the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(A)]

Within 90 days of receiving a complaint, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry will conduct an investigation and attempt to resolve it through mediation. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-103(K)(1), 3-1308(B)(1)]

To the extent practicable, the Commissioner will keep confidential the identity of the employee who has filed a complaint unless the employee waives confidentiality. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-103(K)(2)]

If the complaint isn’t resolved through mediation, the commissioner will make a determination whether the employer violated the Act. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(B)(2)(I)]

If the Commissioner determines the employer violated the Act, it will issue an order that:

  • describe the violation
  • direct the payment of the full monetary value of any unpaid earned sick and safe leave and any actual economic damages
  • in the Commissioner’s discretion, direct the payment of an additional amount up to three (3) times the value of the employee’s hourly wage for each violation
  • in the Commissioner’s discretion, assess a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each employee subject to the violation

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(B)(2)(II)]

The action of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry related to an employee’s complaint are subject to the hearing and notice requirements of Maryland State Government Title 10, Subtitle 2. Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(B)(3)

If an employer does not comply with the Commissioner’s order within thirty (30) days, the following actions may be taken:

the commissioner may:

  • with the written consent of the employee, ask the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of the employee in the county where the employer is located, or
  • bring an action to enforce the order for the civil penalty in the county where the employer is located
  • the employee may, within three (3) years after the date of the Commissioner’s order, bring a civil action to enforce the order in the county where the employer is located

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(C)(1), (2)]

If an employee prevails in an action against their employer, the court may award:

  • three (3) times the value of the employee’s unpaid earned sick and safe leave
  • punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the court
  • reasonable counsel fees and other costs
  • injunctive relief, if appropriate
  • any other relief that the court deems appropriate

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1308(C)(3)]

Relationships with other laws

Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act does not preempt, limit or otherwise affect any other law that provides for sick and safe leave benefits that are more generous than those required by the Act, including Workers’ Compensation. 

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(B)(3), (4)]

Sick and safe time laws of local jurisdictions

Under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act, after January 1, 2017, local jurisdictions may not pass ordinances or otherwise require employers, other than themselves, to provide sick and safe leave benefits. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(D)(1)]

Ordinances or other rules that were passed by local jurisdictions before January 1, 2017, remain in effect and must be complied with by employers within their jurisdictions. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(D)(2)]

State and local jurisdiction employers

If state or local government offer sick leave policies that have sick leave accrual and use requirements that meet or exceed the sick and safe leave requirements provided for in Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act, their employees who are part of the unit’s personnel system will be subject to the state or local government laws, regulations, policies, and procedures providing for:

  • accrual and use of sick leave
  • grievances
  • disciplinary actions

This rule does not apply to state or local employees who are employed in the construction industry and are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that expressly, clearly, and unambiguously waives the requirements of Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act. [Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(C)(1)]

Employees of the state government that are entitled to sick and safe leave under Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act and who are not covered by the government unit’s sick leave accrual and use requirements may file complaints against their employer consistent with the standard complaint procedures set forth in the Act. 

[Maryland Labor and Employment 3-1302(C)(2)]

Massachusetts

Eligible employees

All employees who work in Massachusetts are eligible for paid sick leave under Massachusetts paid sick leave law, except for the following:

  • employees who have a primary place of the employee in a state other than Massachusetts;
  • employees of the United States government
  • employees of cities and towns, unless the sick leave law is adopted by vote or appropriation as provided in CXV of the Amendments of the Massachusetts Constitution;
  • employees of local public employers that are not considered cities and towns, such as school committees, regional schools, and educational collaboratives, unless the sick leave law is adopted by vote or appropriation of the prudential bodies governing the entities;
  • students attending a public or private institution of higher education located in Massachusetts who:
    • participates in a federal work-study program or a similar financial aid or scholarship program;
    • provides supports services to residents of a residence hall, dormitory, apartment building, or other residence run by the institution of higher learning that where they attend in exchange for a waiver or reduction of room, board, tuition, or other educational expenses; or
    • exempt for FICA tax pursuant to 26 USC 3121(b)(10);
    • a school-aged student as defined by 20 USC 1400-1409 (Individuals with Disabilities Act); and

[Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(a)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Employees’ primary place of employment

Massachusetts sick leave law only requires employers to provide eligible employees with sick leave if Massachusetts is the employees’ primary place of employment. An employee’s primary place of employment is Massachusetts if he or she spends more of his or her time working in Massachusetts than any other state; he or she is not required to work a majority of their time in Massachusetts. For example, if an employee works 40% of his or her time in Massachusetts, 30% of his or her time in Connecticut; and 30% of his or her time in Rhode Island, Massachusetts is the employee’s primary place of employment and the employer must provide sick leave to the employee. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(a)]; [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(1)]

Moreover, if the employee’s primary place of employment is Massachusetts, the employer must include hours worked by the employee for purposes of sick leave accrual regardless of where the hours are worked. In the prior example, the employer would need to include all hours worked by the employee in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in its sick leave accrual calculation for the employee. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(2)]

Employees who permanently transfer to a different state but remain with the same employer are no longer eligible to accrue sick leave under Massachusetts’ sick leave law but may continue to use sick leave that they accrued prior to the transfer. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(3)]

Covered Employers

Under Massachusetts’ sick leave law, all employers are required to provide sick leave to employees, except:

  • the United States government;
  • cities and towns, unless the sick leave law is adopted by vote or appropriation as provided in CXV of the Amendments of the Massachusetts Constitution;
  • local public employers that are not considered cities and towns, such as school committees, regional schools, and educational collaboratives, unless the sick leave law is adopted by vote or appropriation of the prudential bodies governing the entities;

[Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(a)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

For purpose of this sick leave law, the Department of Medical Assistance is deemed to be the employer of personal care attendants, as defined in Massachusetts Stat. 118E.70, unless otherwise noted. The Department of Early Education and Care is deemed to be the employer of family child care providers, as defined in [Massachusetts Stat. 15D.17(a)]

Employer size and paid vs. unpaid sick leave

Under Massachusetts’ sick leave law, employers with an average of 10 or fewer employees in the preceding benefit year are only required to provide employees with unpaid sick leave.

Employers with an average of 11 or more employees in the preceding benefit year must provide employees with paid sick leave.

To determine the average number of employees, an employer must count the number of employees, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees, on the payroll during each pay period in the preceding benefit year and divide that number by the number of pay periods. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(d)(4) & (6), (n)]; [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.04(1), (4)] This includes all employees working for the employers, regardless of whether they work in or outside Massachusetts or are otherwise eligible to accrue or use sick leave. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(3)] Temporary employees provided by temporary staffing agencies must be counted by both the temporary employer and the staffing agency for purposes of determining the average number of employees employed in a benefit year. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.04(1)]

Employers that use start dates to determine employee benefit years other than January 1, such as the anniversary of hire, should use the previous calendar year to determine their average number of employees. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.04(2)]

Sick Leave Accrual

Massachusetts’ sick leave law requires employers to credit employees with at least one (1) hour of sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked, including overtime hours. Employers are not required to include hours spent by employees on paid leave in their sick leave accrual calculation. Accrual of sick leave begins on the first day of an employee’s employment (if an employee began working before July 1, 2015, accrual begins from that date). [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(d)]; [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

For accrual purposes, administrative, executive, professional, and outside salesmen who are exempt from federal overtime requirements pursuant to 29 USC 213(a)(1) are deemed to work forty (40) hours per week for purposes of sick leave accrual, unless they are regularly scheduled for fewer hours in which case sick leave may accrue based on their regularly scheduled number of hours. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(d)(3)] ; [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(6)] For purposes of this provision of the law, PCA Quality Home Care Workforce is deemed to be the employer of all personal care attendants, as defined in [Massachusetts Stat. 118E.70]. 

For employees who are paid on a piecework or fee-for-service basis, employers should calculate their accrued sick leave based on a reasonable measure of time worked by the employee. Adjunct faculty who are compensated on a fee-for-service or per-course basis must be credited for three (3) hours of work for every one (1) hour spent teaching in the classroom. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(7), (7)(a)]

Employers must credit family child care providers, as defined in Massachusetts Stat. 15D.17 with 6 work hours for each part day worked and 10 work hours for each full day worked. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(7)(b)]

Accrual caps and use limits

Employers may cap an employee’s sick leave accrual at forty (40) hours per benefit year and may delay any further accrual until the employee uses some of his or her accrued sick time. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(8), (9)]

Additionally, an employer is only required to allow employees to use up to forty (40) hours of accrued sick leave in each benefit year. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(12)]  

Employees may not use sick leave for the time they are not scheduled to work. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(13)]

Employees who have both accrued paid and unpaid sick leave due to changes in their employer’s size above or below 10 employees may choose whether to use either or both to cover the use of sick leave. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.04(7)]

Vesting period

Under Massachusetts’ sick leave law, an employer may require employees to be employed with the company or other entity up to ninety (90) days before they begin using accrued sick leave.

The 90-day period includes both days worked and days not worked. Employees hired by employers on or before April 2, 2015, may begin using accrued sick leave on July 1, 2015, the effective day of Massachusetts sick leave law. The vesting date for employees hired after April 2, 2015, is ninety (90) days after their hire date.

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(29), (30), (34)]

Annual rollover

Massachusetts sick leave law requires employers to allow employees to rollover up to forty (40) hours of accrued sick leave from one benefit year to the next. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(10)]

Tracking accrued sick leave

Massachusetts sick leave law allows employer to track accrued sick leave in increments smaller than one (1) hour for (thirty) 30 hours of work.

For example, an employer could track sick leave based on one (1) minute of sick leave earned for every thirty (30) minutes worked or two (2) minutes for every one (1) hour worked. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(11)]

Lump sum sick leave

Massachusetts’ sick leave law allows employers to provide employees with a lump sum of forty (40) hours of sick leave at the beginning of each benefit year. Employers that choose to provide lump sum sick leave do not need to track accrual or allow any annual rollover, so long as the policy is otherwise consistent with Massachusetts’ sick leave law. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.07(4)]

Use of unaccrued sick leave

Employers and employees may agree in writing to allow the employee to use sick time before accruing it and for employers to count the use against future accrued leave. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(22)]

Alternative sick leave accrual options

If employers prefer not to track sick leave accrual over the course of a benefit year, they may use the schedule below to provide incremental lump sums of sick leave based on the average number of hours worked by employees in a workweek:

  • 37.5 to 40 hours – 8 hours of sick leave for 5 months
  • 30 hours – 5 hours per month for 8 months
  • 24 hours – 4 hours per month for 10 months
  • 20 hours – 4 hours per month for 9 months
  • 16 hours – 3 hours per month for 10 months
  • 10 hours – 2 hours per month for 10 months
  • 5 hours – 1 hour per month for 10 months

Employers may use this schedule even if the hours worked by employees vary from week to week. An employer may also choose to accelerate the accrual or increase hours. Under this system, employees are entitled to rollover up to 40 hours to the next benefit year and an employer may delay the lump sum grants of sick leave while the 40 hour bank of sick time remains unused.

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.07(8)]

Increments of sick leave use

Pursuant to Massachusetts’ sick leave law, the smallest amount of sick time an employee may use is one (1) hour, even if the employee needs to use less than that amount of time. For leave beyond the first hour, employers may use hourly increments or the smallest increment used by the employer for payroll or other leave purposes. For example, if an employer pays employees based on 10-minute increments, it may establish a policy in which it deducts accrued leave from an employee’s sick leave bank in 10-minute increments after the employee’s first hour of leave. 

[Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(d)(7)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(14)]

Sick leave deductions and replacement employees

In situations where an employer is required to hire a replacement employee or call in another employee due to an employee’s use of sick leave, the employer may deduct from the employee’s sick leave bank an amount of time equal to the number of hours the replacement or call-in employee works, up to a full shift of earned sick time. If the employee does not have enough accrued leave to cover the amount of time worked by the replacement or call-in employee, the employer must grant the employee enough unpaid leave to make up the difference. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(18)]

In situations where an employer does not hire a replacement employee or call in another employee and an employee misses a ride to a work site due to the use of sick leave, the employer may only require the employee to use sick leave up until the employee arrives at the work site. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(91)]

Using make-up time instead of sick leave

An employer and employee may, by mutual agreement, arrange for the employee to work additional hours during the same or next pay period to avoid the use of sick leave. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(20)]

Employers may allow a fee-for-service employee to make up hours during the same pay period or future pay period to avoid using sick leave. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(21)]

An employer may not require any employee to make up time as a condition of using sick leave. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(e)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(20)]

Permitted Uses

Under Massachusetts’ sick leave law, an employee may use earned sick time:

  • to care for the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse, who suffers from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care;
  • to care for the employee’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care;
  • to attend regular medical appointments for the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse;
  • to address the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence; and
  • to travel to and from an appointment, a pharmacy, or other location related to the purpose for sick leave was taken.

[Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(c)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Paying employees for sick leave; the same hourly rate required

When paying employees for sick leave, employers must pay employees for sick leave at the employee’s same hourly wage rate they are paid for actual time worked. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02, 940.33.03(25)]

Hourly employees

For hourly employees, the same hourly rate is the employee’s regular hourly rate. For employees who are paid at different hourly rates by the same employer for different hourly work, the same hourly rate may be either:

  • the wage rate the employee would have been paid if he or she had performed the work for which he or she was absent, or
  • a blended rate calculated by taking the weighted average of all regular rates the employee was paid over the previous pay period, month, quarter, or any other established period of time the employer customarily uses to determine blended rates for other similar purposes.

Once an employer has determined which method to use to pay employees with multiple hourly rates for sick leave, it must consistently apply the same method to all employees throughout the benefit year. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Salary employees

For salary employees, the same hourly rate is determined by an employee’s total earnings in the previous pay period divided by the total hours worked by the employee in the pay period. For purposes of the same hourly rate calculation, it is assumed administrative, executive, professional, and outside salesmen who are exempt from federal overtime requirements pursuant to 29 USC 213(a)(1) work forty (40) hours per week unless they are normally scheduled to work fewer hours, in which case their hourly rate should be calculated using the employee’s normal workweek. The same hourly rate for a salaried employee may not be less than Massachusetts’ current minimum wage. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Piecework and fee-for-service employees

For piece work and fee-for-service employees, the same hourly rate is based on a reasonable calculation of the wages or fees the employee would have received for the piece work, service, or part thereof if they had performed the work instead of taking leave. The same hourly rate for piece work and fee-for-service employees may not be less than Massachusetts’ current minimum wage

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Commission employees

For employees who are paid in whole or in part by commissions, the same hourly rate is the greater of the employee’s base wage or Massachusetts’ current minimum wage. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Tipped employees

For tipped employees who are paid the tipped minimum wage (service rate), the same hourly rate is Massachusetts’ current minimum wage. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02]

Not included in the same hourly rate

Employers do not need to include the following in the calculation of an employee’s same regular rate:

  • amounts paid as commissions, drawing accounts, bonuses, or other incentive payment based on sales or production;
  • amounts paid under 29 USC 207(e), including contributions irrevocably made by an employer to a trustee or third party pursuant to a bona fide benefit plans, including but not limited to, health, life, accident, retirement, and old-age insurance; or
  • overtime, holiday, or other premium rates (differential rates, such as night shift pay, are not considered premium rates for purposes of Massachusetts’ sick leave law).

Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.02

Payment after use of sick leave

Employers must pay employees for sick leave at the same time it pays for hours worked by the employee in the same pay period. It may not delay the payment for sick leave. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(26)]

Payment of sick leave at the end of a benefit year or at the time of a job transfer

An employer may choose to pay employees for up to 40 hours of unused earned sick time at the end of a benefit year or when the employee transfers job within the same company. If an employer chooses to pay out sixteen (16) or more hours, it must provide sixteen (16) hours of unpaid sick leave time until the employee accrues new paid sick time, which will replace the unpaid time as it is earned. Employers who pay out less than sixteen (16) hours must provide the employees with an equivalent amount of unpaid sick leave until the employee accrues new paid sick time, which will replace the unpaid time as it is earned. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(27)]

Payment of accrued sick leave upon separation from employment

An employer is not required to pay employees for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(28)]

Rehired employees

Employees who are rehired by the same employer within four months after a separation from employment is entitled to the reinstatement of all previously accrued sick leave and may begin to use the sick leave on the first day of rehire. Employees who are rehired between four (4) and twelve (12) months after a separation from employment are entitled to the reinstatement of all previously accrued sick leave and may begin to use the sick leave on the first day of rehire if they had 10 or more hours of accrued leave prior to the separation from employment. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.03(31)-(33)]

Alternative eligible leave policies

Employers are considered to be in compliance with Massachusetts’s sick leave law if they offer their own sick leave, vacation leave, or other time off policies if the policies allow employees to use at least the same amount of time, for the same purposes, under the same conditions, and with the same protection as required by Massachusetts’ sick leave law. 

[Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(k)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.07(1)]

Employers’ own paid leave policies are sufficient if they:

  • provide 40 hours of time off or a lesser amount based on an employee’s accrual rate;
  • provide for an accrual rate of no less than one (1) hour for 30 hours of work;
  • pay employees for leave at the employee’s same hourly rate;
  • allow for all the purposes permitted by Massachusetts’ sick leave law;
  • make leave available under the same notice and documentation requirements; and
  • provide for the same job protections.

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.07(3)]

Employers are permitted to maintain different policies for different groups of employees so long as all policies conform to the requirements of Massachusetts’ sick leave law. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.07(2)]

Employer notice requirement

An employer must post a notice of Massachusetts’ sick leave laws, published by Massachusetts’ Attorney General, in a conspicuous place accessible to employees in every location where eligible employee work. EnglishSpanishPortuguese. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(o)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.09(3)]

Employers must also provide a hard copy or electronic copy of the notice to all eligible employees, or include the employer’s policy on earned sick time or the employer’s allowable substitute paid leave policy in its employee handbook. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.09(4)]

Employers must notify all eligible employees in writing at least 30 days in advance if future accrued sick leave will be changing from paid to unpaid or unpaid to paid because of a change in the employer’s size. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.04(5)]

Employee notice requirement

An employer may require employees to provide up to seven (7) days’ notice of the need to take sick leave when the need for leave is known that far in advance. When the need for sick leave is not known prior to the standard notice period or is unforeseeable, the employer may require employees to provide notice of the need for leave as soon as is reasonable under the circumstances. If an employer requires employees to provide notice with a set number of days before taking leave, the policy must be in writing. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(g)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.05(1)(a)-(c)]

If an employee’s sick leave absence will span multiple days, an employer may require that the employee provide the expected duration of the leave, or if unknown, provide daily updates of the employee’s status either by the employee or the employee’s spouse, adult family member, or other responsible party, unless the notice is otherwise unreasonable. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.05(1)(a)-(c)]

Employers may establish a reasonable system for employees to use to notify it of their need to use sick leave; however, the system must allow employees to provide notice consistent with the manner in which employees customarily provide notice to the employer about absences or the need for leave. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.05(2)]

Moreover, an employer may not require an employee to use specific terms when requesting sick leave so long as the notice is sufficient for the employer to understand that the employee needs to use sick leave for a permitted purpose. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.05(3)]

If an employer questions whether an employee 17 years old or younger is using sick leave for improper purposes, it may request verification from a parent or guardian that the employees are using the time for proper purposes. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.05(4)]

Written sick leave documentation

Massachusetts sick leave law allows employers to require employees to personally verify in writing that they are using earned sick time for an allowable purpose. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.06(10)

Fitness-for-duty certificate

Under Massachusetts’ sick leave law, employers may require employees to provide a fitness-for-duty certification, a work release, or other documentation from a medical provider before returning to work after taking sick time if:

  • requesting such a certificate is customarily required and consistent with industry practice or state and federal safety requirements, and
  • reasonable safety concerns exist regarding the employee’s ability to safely perform job duties because of the potential of significant risk of harm to the employee or others.

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.06(13)]

Prohibited practices for employers

Massachusetts’ sick leave law prohibits an employer from:

  • interfering with, restraining, or denying an employee’s exercise of or attempt to exercise any right granted by Massachusetts’ sick leave law, including, but not limited to, using an employee’s use of sick leave as a negative factor in an evaluation, promotion, disciplinary, or termination decision (Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(h)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.08(1));
  • taking any adverse action against employees because they oppose practices that they believe violate Massachusetts’ sick leave law or because they support the exercise of rights by another employee under the sick leave law, including, but not limited to, filing an action against the employer alleging a violation of the law; instituting or causing to be instituted any proceeding against the employer; providing information in connection with an inquiry or proceeding against the employer; or testifying in any inquiry or proceeding against the employer (Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(i)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.08(1));

Examples of unlawful adverse actions include, but are not limited to:

  • refusing to allow employees to use earned sick time;
  • delaying the payment of used sick time;
  • taking away hours worked;
  • negatively altering the terms or conditions of an employee’s employment;
  • disciplining an employee under the employer’s attendance policy;
  • giving an employee an undesirable assignment or schedule change;
  • giving a false negative reference to a future employer; or
  • filing false criminal reports about the employee to authorities.

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.08(3)]

An employee’s inability to earn a reward for good attendance or to receive a holiday pay incentive based on the employee’s use of sick leave does not constitute an adverse action for purposes of Massachusetts’ sick leave law. [Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.08(4)]

Recordkeeping

Massachusetts sick leave law requires employers to keep true and accurate records of the accrual and use of earned sick time by employees, consistent with Massachusetts Stat. 151.15. If an employer complies with sick leave requirements through an alternative leave law policy, it is only required to a single record of leave used by employees, except that it must designate what leave time used by employees is designated as earned sick time. [Massachusetts Stat. 149.148C(m)Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.09(1)]

Employers must keep the records for a period of three years. If an employee requests a copy of the records, employers must provide a copy to the employee within ten (10) business days. The employer must also allow employees, upon request, to inspect the original records, whether paper or electronic, at a reasonable time and place. 

[Massachusetts Regs. 940.33.09(2)]

An employer in Massachusetts may also be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Michigan

Michigan law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer would not be required to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless its policy or employment contract required it to do so.

An employer in Michigan may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Minnesota

Minnesota law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. Also, if an employer provides employees personal sick leave, it must allow its employees to use their accrued sick leave to care for a sick or injured child. [Minn. Stat. 181.9413.]

An employer in Minnesota may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws. An employer is also required to comply with Minnesota’s Parental Leave Act.

Mississippi

Mississippi law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Mississippi may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Missouri

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Missouri may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Montana

Montana law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Montana may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Nebraska

Nebraska law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer does not need to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless required by policy or contract.

An employer in Nebraska may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Nevada

Nevada law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer does not need to pay an employee from accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless required by policy or contract.

An employer in Nevada may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in New Hampshire may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

New Jersey

New Jersey law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. [NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs] If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in New Jersey may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with New Jersey’s Family Leave Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws. An employee may also be entitled to benefits under New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program, which is funded by employee payroll deductions.

New Mexico

New Mexico law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in New Mexico may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

New York

New York law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in New York may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

North Carolina

North Carolina law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in North Carolina may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

North Dakota

North Dakota law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in North Dakota may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Ohio

Ohio law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer is not required to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment.

An employer in Ohio may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

An employer in Oklahoma may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Oregon

Oregon law requires employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits. Employers with 10 or more employees (6 or more in Portland) must provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than 10 employees (less than 6 in Portland) must provide unpaid sick leave.

Eligibility

All employees in Oregon are eligible for paid sick leave, including home care workers. Employees begin accruing leave as soon as they are hired, but they aren’t eligible to use accrued leave until they have worked for at least 90 days.

Is Sick Leave Paid?

Oregon employers with ten or more employees must provide paid sick leave; employers with nine or fewer employees may provide unpaid sick leave. The rules are different for Portland employers: those with six or more employees must provide paid leave; those with five or fewer employees may provide unpaid leave.

How Does Sick Leave Accrue?

Oregon employees are entitled to one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Alternatively, employers can choose to make 40 hours of sick leave available at the start of the year.

Employees must be allowed to carry over up to 40 hours of sick leave to the next year. However, employers may limit an employee to using no more than 40 hours of sick leave each year. Employers may also cap an employee’s total sick leave balance at 80 hours.

Purposes

Employees may use sick leave in increments as small as one hour unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer. Leave may be used for a variety of reasons, including:

the employee’s own physical or mental illness or health condition (including preventative care, treatment, and recovery)

  • to help a family member with a physical or mental illness or health condition (including preventative care, treatment, and recovery)
  • to bond with a child arriving by birth, adoption, or foster placement
  • for bereavement when a family member passes away
  • to deal with the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking,
  • to recover from a mental or physical illness or health condition, or
  • in the event of a public health emergency (including a workplace closure, or the closure of a child’s school or daycare, by a public health official).

The definition of “family member” is broad and includes the following:

  • a spouse or same-sex domestic partner
  • a parent (including an adoptive parent, stepparent, or foster parent), whether custodial or not
  • a child (including an adoptive child, foster child, or stepchild)
  • a grandparent
  • a grandchild
  • a parent-in-law or the parent of a same-sex domestic partner, and
  • someone with whom the employee has an in loco parentis relationship (a parent/child relationship that isn’t necessarily by blood or law—such as an aunt who raises a nephew).

Notice

If the reason for the leave is foreseeable—such as a family member’s scheduled surgery—the employee can be required to provide up to ten days’ notice. If the leave is not foreseeable—such as a sudden illness—the employee can be required to give notice as soon as it’s practical. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule sick time in a way that will not unduly disrupt the workplace.

Likewise, employers cannot institute notice and procedures that would interfere with the employee’s ability to use accrued sick leave. Employers may not request documentation of the need for leave (such as a doctor’s note) until the employee has been out for three consecutive days unless the employer suspects the employee is abusing sick leave.

Is Sick Leave Paid Out Upon Termination?

Employers are not required to pay accrued but unused sick leave when an employee leaves the company.

[OR Rev Stat § 653]

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Pennsylvania may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Rhode Islands

Beginning on July 1, 2018, Rhode Island will require certain employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. 

The Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act gives Rhode Island employees the right to take time off from work to care for themselves when they are too sick to work, are injured or have a routine medical appointment. They may also use earned leave to deal with the impact of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. In addition, they may use earned leave to assist their child, spouse, domestic partner or other members of their household for the same purposes.

Eligibility

Most part-time, full-time, seasonal, temporary or other employees who work in Rhode Island more than in any other state, with the following exceptions:

  • Employees of local municipalities, state and federal governments and other public entities.
  • Per diem nurses who:
    • work at health care facilities;
    • are under no obligation to work a regular schedule; and
    • receive higher pay than others who work a regular schedule while performing the same job.

Paid or Unpaid

Employers with 18 or more employees must provide paid sick and safe leave. Employers with 17 or fewer employees must provide earned sick and safe leave, but it does not need to be paid.

Additionally, employers in Rhode Island may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with RI Parental & Family Medical Leave Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Sick Leave Accrued

Employees may earn sick/safe leave:

  • based on the employer’s policy, or;
  • under this act, they are entitled to earn at least one hour of sick/safe leave for every 35 hours worked.

Full-time employees may earn and use up to:

  • 24 hours in 2018;
  • 32 hours in 2019;
  • 40 hours per year thereafter.

Once the annual cap is reached, accrual stops. Employers may elect to offer more.

Time starts accruing right away (July 1, 2018, or the first day of employment, whichever is later).

Potential waiting periods to use earned leave are:

  • 90-days for new employees;
  • 180-days for temporary employees; and,
  • 150-days for seasonal employees

Notice

If the reason for leave has been planned at least 24 hours in advance, the employee must provide notice. In emergencies, notice must be provided as soon as reasonably possible. Except where impacted by the RI Food Code, employers cannot ask the reason for expending leave and are required by law to maintain employee confidentiality.

How is it used?

Sick/safe leave shall be used at the employee’s discretion, with the following considerations:

  • Employers can impose a minimum block of time, but that block cannot exceed four hours. (Example, the employer might deny using leave in 30-minute increments, but cannot demand that more than four hours be used at one time.)
  • Sick/safe leave cannot be used as an excuse for being late.
  • An absence for more than three consecutive work days may require documentation.
  • Fraudulent misuse of leave may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment

No retaliation

Employers may not take adverse action against an employee for attempting to exercise their legal right to use earned sick/safe leave. Examples include: denying the use of time, giving undesirable assignments, reducing work hours or demotion.

South Carolina

South Carolina law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in South Carolina may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

South Dakota

South Dakota law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in South Dakota may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Tennessee

Tennessee law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Tennessee may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Texas

Texas law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid.

If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Texas may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

 

Utah

Utah law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Utah may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Vermont

Eligibility

All Vermont employers are covered by the paid sick leave law. Employees are eligible for paid sick leave if they work at least 18 hours per week on average. A few categories of employees are not eligible for paid sick leave, including federal government employees, per diem healthcare employees, minors, and certain seasonal employees.

Sick leave begins to accrue on the employee’s first day of work. However, employers may impose a one-year waiting period from the first day of employment before the employee can use any accrued sick leave. Sick leave does not need to be paid out when an employee leaves employment.

How Much Sick Leave Do Employees Get in Vermont?

Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 52 hours worked. Paid sick leave must carry over from year to year, but employers may place annual caps on accrual and use. In 2018, employers may cap accrual at 24 hours of paid sick leave per year. In 2019 and beyond, employers may cap accrual at 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

Alternatively, employers can choose to provide the maximum number of paid sick leave hours at the start of each year. In that case, they do not have to worry about accrual or carry-over rules. Any sick leave left at the end of the year expires.

If an employer already has a vacation or PTO policy that provides the minimum number of sick hours and follows the other rules for paid sick leave, it does not need to provide additional time off.

For What Reasons Can Paid Sick Leave Be Used?

Employees may use sick leave for the following purposes:

  • for the employee’s own illness or injury, including to obtain diagnostic, preventive, routine, and therapeutic health care
  • to care for an ill or injured spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child (including helping that person obtain health care)
  • bringing a spouse, parent, grandparent, or parent-in-law to an appointment related to his or her long-term care
  • to arrange social or legal services, obtain medical care, receive counselling, or relocate due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child, or
  • to care for a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child because of the closure of that person’s school or care facility due to public health or safety reasons.

Employees may use sick leave in hourly increments, or in shorter increments if already allowed by the employer’s payroll system for other types of leave.

Notice and Documentation Requirements

Employees must make a good faith effort to provide notice prior to taking sick leave. If the sick leave is used for a pre-scheduled reason—such as a routine doctor’s appointment—the employer can require the employee to provide notice as soon as it’s practical. Employers can also require employees to make reasonable efforts to avoid scheduling routine or preventative care during regular work hours.

Employers may ask for reasonable documentation that the employee used sick leave for a permissible purpose. However, they cannot ask for details about health conditions or domestic violence.

[21 V.S.A. § 481]

If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Vermont may also be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with Vermont’s Parental and Family Leave Law and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Virginia

Virginia law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Virginia may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.

Washington

Eligibility

Most employees are eligible to receive paid sick leave. However, some employees may not be required to receive paid sick leave because their job duties make them exempt from the Minimum Wage Act. Exemptions include doctors, lawyers, and dentists who are employed in their applicable professional fields. Additionally, most executive managers paid on a salary basis who supervise two or more full-time employees are exempt as well. [Administrative Policy ES.A.1, Minimum Wage Act Applicability.]

How Does Paid Sick Leave Accrue?

Employees will automatically begin to accrue sick leave when the law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Employees may use accrued leave as long as they have been employed for 90 days.

Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Unlike other states, Washington does not place a cap on how much sick leave an employee can accrue or use in a year. However, employees are only entitled to carry over 40 hours of accrued sick leave from year to year.

For What Purposes Can Employees Use Sick Leave?

Employees may use accrued sick leave for the following reasons:

  • the employee’s own illness, treatment, or preventative care
  • a family member’s illness, treatment, or preventative care
  • the closure of the employee’s place of business, or the school or daycare of the employee’s child, due to a public health emergency, and
  • to seek medical, legal, or other assistance for the employee or a family member relating to domestic violence, as provided for by Washington’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.

Washington’s family leave laws define a “family member” as a child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, parent-in-law, and grandparent. Washington’s domestic violence law also includes in its definition a romantic partner with whom the employee is in a dating relationship.

Does the Employee Have to Give Notice?

Employers can require employees to provide reasonable notice of the need to use sick leave. When an employee uses three consecutive paid sick days, the employer can also ask for documentation of the reason for the leave. However, the request for documentation must be reasonable and cannot impose an undue burden on the employee or violate the employee’s right to privacy. Employers cannot require employees to find other workers to cover their shifts in order to use sick leave.

What Happens When an Employee Leaves the Company?

Employers are not required to pay out sick leave when an employee leaves the company. However, if the employee is rehired within a year, the employer must reinstate all accrued but unused sick leave that existed at the time of separation.

[RCW 49.46]

An employer in Washington may also be required to provide an employee sick leave, including paid leave if available by means of a policy or contract, in accordance with Washington’s Family Care Act and Family Leave Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Actor other federal laws.

West Virginia

West Virginia law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in West Virginia may be required to provide an employee sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Wisconsin may be required to provide an employee sick leave in accordance with Wisconsin’s FMLA and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Wyoming

Wyoming law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Wyoming may be required to provide an employee sick leave in accordance with the FMLA or other federal laws.