Yesterday, March 9, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill that will require paid sick leave to be offered to an estimated 60,000 workers throughout the state. The Governor noted that the “law will provide dignity for employees, a more productive workforce for employers, and a safer workplace for all of us.” The bill itself sets up a phased implementation. Starting January 1, 2017, businesses must begin providing workers at least three paid sick days a year. By January 1, 2019, businesses must offer employees a minimum of five paid sick days each year. The law, however, does provide employers with five or fewer employees an extension, permitting those companies until January 1, 2018, to begin offering the benefit.

The law is applicable to all Vermont employers and applies to all employees working on average 18 or more hours per week, but lists a host of exemptions from the statutory definition of employee.

Vermont joins California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon in the adoption of paid sick leave laws.