The Attorney General has issued the final regulations for the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law, which goes into effect in nine (9) days, on July 1, 2015: http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/regulations/940-cmr-33-00.pdf.
The final regulations differ in significant respects from the previously released draft regulations. Some of the more noteworthy provisions include:
- Sick leave may run concurrently with other statutorily provided leaves of absence, such as FMLA leave and parental leave;
- The employer’s size for purposes of determining whether sick leave must be paid or unpaid is calculated based on the average number of employees during the entire previous calendar year or benefit year;
- Medical documentation may be required for absences longer than three consecutive work days, even if less than eight (8) hours each; leaves taken within two (2) weeks of the employee’s last day; and leaves taken after four (4) unforeseen and undocumented absences within a three (3)-month period;
- If an employee fails to provide required supporting documentation, employers may recoup sums paid for paid sick leave as overpayment or deny the future use of an equivalent amount of time where sick leave is unpaid;
- Sick leave may not be used as an excuse for being late, and use of sick leave just before or after a weekend, vacation, or a holiday may be scrutinized;
- Employers may comply with the requirements of the law by providing a lump sum of forty (40) hours of sick leave to full-time (or all) employees at the beginning of each benefit year, and by following accrual tables included in the regulations for employees who work less than full-time.
If you have any questions regarding sick time leave, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.