On July 1, employers in California and Massachusetts (with few exceptions) must begin providing paid sick leave to their employees. California and Massachusetts will be joining Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New York City, and over 15 other cities throughout the country as jurisdictions to require paid sick days.

While the California and Massachusetts laws are very similar, there are some notable differences regarding sick leave accrual, use, carryover, and recordkeeping. Neither state requires payout of accrued but unused sick time upon separation of employment.

Employers that already provide employees with paid time off, paid vacation, or other paid leave benefits may be able to use these pre-existing plans to satisfy their obligations under the paid sick time laws, provided certain criteria are met.

Before July 1, employers with employees in California or Massachusetts should review their paid leave policies and ensure they are prepared to comply with the new laws. Moreover, each state’s paid sick leave law requires that employers give their employees notice of these new laws, either through on-site postings or individual notices. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office have provided template notices for this purpose.