By: Megan G. Holstein, Senior Counsel, Compliance and Employment Law

If you have been following the trend, you know that paid sick leave laws have been passing all across the United States in the last 18 months.  Reed Group has reported on this trend here, here, here, and here.

The state of Massachusetts and Oakland, California are the latest to jump on this band wagon. These new paid sick and safe leave laws require employers to allow employees to accrue sick days after a certain number of hours worked and for reasons of caring for themselves or family members or related to time off to address the effects of domestic violence.

On November 4, 2014, voters in Massachusetts approved Ballot Measure No. 4, “An Initiative Petition on Earned Sick Time for Employees,” which requires employers to provide 40 hours per year for employees to care for themselves or their family members, or if they, or their dependent child, are a victim of domestic violence.  The time off is paid or unpaid, depending on the size of the employer.  The bill is effective July 1, 2015.

For employees who are or whose children are victims of domestic violence, employers will need to apply this required paid sick leave concurrently with the Massachusetts leave for victims of domestic violence which provides up to 15 days of unpaid job-protected leave per 12-month period.   outsick

Also in November, 3 municipalities approved a paid sick leave law:

  • The City of Oakland passed Measure FF, which includes a paid sick leave requirement, allowing employees in Oakland to accrue up to 9 days of paid sick leave for every 30 or 40 hours worked, depending on the size of the employer. This law is effective March 2, 2015. Employers in Oakland, California will have to ensure that their paid sick leave policy complies with both the new Oakland law and the new state-wide California paid sick leave law, as well as California’s kin care law and Family Rights Act.
  • Trenton, New Jersey and Montclair, New Jersey passed paid sick leave laws, which adds to the 6 other municipalities in New Jersey that require employer to allow employees to accrue and use paid sick leave. New Jersey employers will need to ensure the paid sick leave in these cities integrates with the employee’s job-protected leave required by the state-wide New Jersey Family Leave Act.

What’s an employer to do? Yes, you are expected to (somehow) keep all of these leave of absence requirements straight. After years of trying to keep track by patching a bunch of search results together, we went and built a web-based reference tool to do it for us. Reed Group’s LeaveAdvisor®, which tracks pending and existing leave of absence laws in all 50 states and the federal leave laws, such as the FMLA, ADA, and USERRA. Try it, free, and tell us what you think.

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