As discussed in Part I (posted earlier this week), a number of states and local municipalities have enacted paid sick leave legislation mandating paid time away from work for employees. While some of these laws are already in effect, others are coming soon. Employers with operations in the following areas should revisit their policies and make adjustments as needed to plan for these upcoming changes:
- Chicago, Illinois (effective July 1, 2017): The new ordinance applies to any business or individual that employs at least one person within Chicago’s city limits or is subject to certain city licensing requirements. Eligible employees include anyone who works at least 80 hours within a 120-day period (i.e., 20 hours a month), with very few exceptions. Sick leave must accrue on an hourly basis, subject to certain caps. For hourly employees, paid sick leave accrues in one-hour increments for every 40 hours worked. For salaried employees classified as exempt, such employees are presumed to have worked 40 hours each week. Employers may set a maximum accrual of 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. Employees must be permitted to first use their accrued paid sick leave no later than six months after starting their job.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota (effective July 1, 2017): With some exceptions, this new ordinance governs employers with six or more employees and employees who work at least 80 hours a year in Minneapolis. Workers will accrue one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked and can carry over accrued but unused sick time to the next year. Employees may use sick and safe time for their own health and certain family members’ health or to stay home with a child if school is cancelled because of a health emergency or weather conditions. Victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking may also use sick and safe time to receive medical treatment and other necessary services.
- Berkeley, California (effective October 1, 2017): The ordinance requires that employees who have not accrued state-required paid sick leave before the effective date must begin to accrue city-required paid sick leave on October 1, 2017, or when employment begins, whichever is later. Employees who have accrued state-required paid sick leave before October 1, 2017, will continue to use such leave in a manner consistent with state law. Eligible employees accrue one paid-sick-leave hour for every 30 hours worked, which accrues in whole-hour units not fractionally (e.g., employees working 40 hours in a week will accrue one hour, not one-and-one-third hours as required under state law). For small businesses, there is a cap of 48 hours per year; for all other businesses the cap is 72 hours, though employers can set a higher cap or no cap. Accrued but unused leave carries over from year to year – whether calendar or fiscal year – but cannot exceed the cap.
These ordinances generally contain notice requirements and other provisions that employers need to carefully follow to provide employees with the necessary paid sick time away from work. Employers and HR Professionals should expect to see additional legislation in this area and remain vigilant to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.