The national sick leave trend continues to gain momentum as voters in Massachusetts, Trenton and Montclair, New Jersey, and Oakland, California approved ballot initiatives requiring employers within each jurisdiction to provide sick leave to their employees.  Similar laws already have taken effect in several jurisdictions across the country, including the States of Connecticut and California, and localities such as New York City, Jersey CityNewark, D.C., Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees must provide up to forty hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. The full text of the Massachusetts ballot question is available athttp://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele14/pip144.htm.

Oakland, California voters approved a local ordinance providing more generous sick leave benefits than California’s state-wide sick leave law. Oakland employers with 10 or more employees must provide up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave. The full text of the Oakland ballot question is available at http://www.acgov.org/rov/elections/20141104/documents/MeasureFF-V3.pdf.

In New Jersey, Trenton and Montclair employers with 10 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.  Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave, subject to certain exceptions. The New Jersey legislature also is considering a sick leave bill that, if passed in its current form, would not preempt the growing patchwork of local laws passed in the state.

Employers in these jurisdictions should familiarize themselves with the law in their respective locations, as each law contains its own intricacies, and prepare for compliance with the requirements therein