Spring brings with it several developments in sick leave laws as Georgia and Arizona pass new legislation, plus Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Cook County get in the mix with new proposed regulations interpreting their sick leave laws:

  • On May 8, the Governor of Georgia signed a new Georgia Kin Care law, Senate Bill 201.  The law goes into effect July 1, 2017. This law allows employees to use employer-provided earned sick leave benefits to care for the employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, or parent, or any dependents as shown in the employee’s most recent tax return, up to a maximum of five days of earned sick leave per calendar year. While the law does not require an employer to provide any additional leave, it does expand the leave reasons for which an employee may use existing sick leave benefits.
  • Arizona has proposed regulations to interpret its Earned Paid Sick Time law that goes into effect July 1, 2017. Written comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until June 5, 2017. An oral proceeding is scheduled for June 5, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., in the auditorium of the Industrial Commission of Arizona, 800 West Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007.  The proposed rules address the calculation of the hourly rate, contain an independent contractor analysis, and provide an exception to the posting for small employers.
  • Meanwhile, on the municipal front, the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, have issued preliminary rules regarding their sick and safe leave ordinances. The ordinances take effect July 1, 2017. A key feature of the preliminary rules is that the cities will not apply the ordinances to employers located outside the cities, despite language in the laws that could have been interpreted as such. Other portions of the rules interpret which hours worked by an employee will be counted, including varying rules for working from home and travel time.  The City of St. Paul website clarifies that these rules are subject to change pending the outcome of Hennepin County District Court Case Minnesota Chamber of Commerce et al v. City of Minneapolis, Court File No. 27-CV-16-15051, currently on appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
  • Cook County, Illinois, published draft interpretative and procedural rules for its enforcement of the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Cook County will adopt a final version of these rules on or before June 1, 2017.

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