On November 4th Massachusetts voters approved a new law that requires employers to provide employees with sick time benefits. The law will come into effect on July 1st 2015.

Employers will be required to provide employees with 40 hours of sick leave annually. Employers with more than 11 employees will be required to pay employees for their sick time. Employees can use their sick time to:

  1. Care for a child, spouse, parent, or spouses parent who is suffering from a physical or mental illness
  2. Care for themselves when they are mentally or physically sick
  3. Attend routine medical appointments for his or her self, child, spouse, parent or spouses parent
  4. Address the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence.

Employers must allow employees to accrue at least one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked, and accruing sick time begins at date of hire. An employee may begin to use accrued sick time on the 90th calendar after the commencement of his or her employment. The law caps the amount of sick time earned in a calendar year to 40 hours, although hours can be carried over into the following calendar year.

If an employee is absent for more than 24 consecutively scheduled hours, the employer may ask the employee to provide a doctors certificate.

For employers who already provide paid time off to employees under paid time off, vacation, or other paid leave policy that provides the same or better accrual for reasons covered by the new law are not required to provide additional earned sick time.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Sign up to receive FMLA Updates straight to your inbox!