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Will Massachusetts be the Second State to Grant Earned Sick Time to Employees?

Published:  July 15, 2014

Connecticut already has a paid sick leave law, but Massachusetts has only been considering a similar law for a few years now. In November, Massachusetts voters will have the option of deciding if we want to follow in Connecticut’s footsteps by voting on the ballot question seen here.

This proposed law would allow employees in Massachusetts to be able to earn and use up to forty hours of sick time each year. If the employer has eleven or more employees, this time will be paid by law, however; if the employer has less than eleven employees, the leave will be unpaid.

The employee earned “sick time” could be used by employees in three instances.
1. To care for employee, employee’s spouse, child, parent, or parent of spouse suffering from mental or physical illness, injury or medical condition, or
2. To attend routine medical appointments of employee, employee’s spouse, child, parent, or parent of spouse, or
3. To address any effects of domestic violence on employee or employee’s dependent child.

While employers would need to provide time off to employees in the above instances, if it has been earned (one hour earned for every 30 hours worked), the employer may require certification of the need for sick time if more than 24 hours of sick time is used consecutively. However, it is unclear how employers could enforce this requirement as the law prohibits employers from delaying payment for or taking of sick leave for lack of certification.

If you have any questions regarding employee leave, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.