Starting July 1, 2015, all Massachusetts employees earn sick time, and many earn paid sick time
1 hour earned for every 30 worked
All Massachusetts employees are entitled to earn up to 40 hours per year of sick time. For employers with 11 or more employees, this time must be paid. Employees are entitled to carry over up to 40 hours of unused earned sick time to the next calendar year, but are not entitled to use more than 40 hours in one calendar year and are not entitled to cash out the unused time upon termination.
Employee use of earned sick time
Sick time may be used for illness, injury, or medical condition or routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent’s spouse. The time may also be used to address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child. Employers may not seek medical certification unless the employee has missed 24 or more consecutive work hours.
What does this mean?
Assess Existing Policies
Employers who already provide sick time or PTO must assess their policies in light of the new law. If an existing policy is less generous—in the accrual, carryover, or permissible uses of time—it must be revised to comply with the statute. Employers must also post and provide all employees with the notice of this new law.
Devil is in the Details
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has proposed regulations that answer many obvious questions, including whether employees outside MA count for purposes of determining company size. (According to the proposed regulations, they do.) Although the regulations are only proposed, they contain helpful guidance for employers.