Earlier this year, President Obama called on Congress to enact a federal law requiring businesses to offer seven days of paid sick leave to workers, but the proposed law is unlikely to pass in the current political climate. Nevertheless, supporters are trying to get this into law and it has been picking up momentum.
Before last year, only Connecticut and several cities, such as New York City and San Francisco, had a paid sick leave laws. That’s about to change. Beginning on July 1, 2015, California and Massachusetts will require employers to offer paid sick leave. We believe many other states will follow this trend. In fact, Oregon’s governor just signed a bill into law that will require businesses in Oregon to offer sick leave beginning on January 1, 2016, making Oregon the fourth state to require paid sick leave.
According to our analysis, Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware, and Rhode Island are likely to enact paid sick leave laws next.
If a paid sick leave law is enacted in your state, we recommend taking the following steps:
- Review all current and new paid leave policies for compliance.
- Decide whether lumping vacation, personal, and sick leave together would be better for your organization and, if applicable, for which specific employee groups.
- Determine which employees work in places with paid sick leave laws and consider whether a one-size-fits-all policy or location-specific policies would be better.
- Confirm that usage terms, accrual, coverage, carry-over, and any vesting rules meet minimum requirements.
- Review the employee notice requirements, e.g., paystubs and workplace posters.
- Update your handbook and distribute it to employees.