The following information was taken from the Massachusetts government website (www.mass.gov).
Massachusetts has followed California (California Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act/Paid Sick Leave) with a new Earned Sick Leave law. The earned sick time law, M.G.L. c. 149 § 148C, was approved by the voters on November 4, 2014. The law entitles employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.
The law takes effect on July 1, 2015.
Massachusetts Sick Leave Accrual: How it Works
The Massachusetts Earned Sick Time poster has been released by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Under the new law, workers will get one paid hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per year. Employers are required to post a notice informing employees of their rights. The poster can be downloaded at the link below:
Employees who work for employers having eleven or more employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers can earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.
An employee can use earned sick time if required to miss work in order to:
- to care for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse;
- to attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or
- to address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child.
Employees will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and begin accruing those hours on the date of hire or on July 1, 2015, whichever is later. Employees can begin to use earned sick time on the 90th day after hire.
Employees can carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year, but cannot use more than 40 hours in a calendar year. Employers do not have to pay employees for unused sick time at the end of their employment.
Sick Leave Across the Country
The following is taken from DOL website (www.dol.gov) regarding federal sick leave laws. For specific sick leave laws/policies in your state, please contact FosterThomas for assistance.
Currently, there are no federal legal requirements for paid sick leave.
For companies subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Act does require unpaid sick leave. FMLA provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical situations for either the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family. In many instances paid leave may be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave.
Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
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