This fall Massachusetts voters passed a proposed law which entitles employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time. The exact conditions of the law may be tweaked by the legislature but the basic law has been approved so anyone managing a business’ payroll in Massachusetts will need to pay close attention to its evolution.
This new law will affect all employers. Those employers with eleven or more employees, which includes full time, part time and temporary, must provide PAID sick time, while those with less than eleven employees must provide UNPAID sick time. The employer must provide a minimum of one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked by the employee. The accrual start date will begin on the date of hire or the date this law becomes effective, whichever is later. However, employees will not be entitled to use the earned sick time until 90 days after their date of hire. With that said, employers that choose to do so may provide a greater amount of sick time, and allow use of that time earlier than the 90-day wait period.
After the employee has met the 90-day wait period they may begin using their earned sick time. Under this new law, the employee can earn and use up to forty hours of sick time in a calendar year. In addition, the employee can opt to carry up to forty hours of unused sick time over to a subsequent year. However, the employee can still only use up to forty hours in one calendar year. Employers will not be required by this law to pay out unused earned sick time upon employee termination. This will most certainly affect a business’ payroll in Massachusetts.
As stated in the approved law, the earned sick time shall be provided to the employee for any of the following:
- to care for the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse, who is suffering from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care; or
- to care for the employee’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care; or
- to attend the employee’s routine medical appointment or a routine medical appointment for the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of spouse; or
- to address the psychological, physical or legal effects of domestic violence as defined.
The approved law will take effect on July 1, 2015.
For more information about how this new law may affect your business’ payroll in Massachusetts, contact us at: 978-251-3003
For the full text of the mandatory sick time law, see the website of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele14/pip144.htm