Category Archives: Paid Sick Leave

NEW LAW: Coming Soon to Westchester County – Sick Leave

Attention employers in Westchester County, New York – Under the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law, starting April 10, 2019 you will be required to provide sick leave benefits to employees who work more than 80 hours in a year.

How much sick leave must be provided?

 Starting April 10, 2019, eligible employees of Westchester County employers will start accruing sick leave. Employers with less than 5 employees may provide unpaid sick leave, while employers with 5 or more employees must provide paid sick leave benefits.

Unused sick leave can be carried over from year-to-year, but employers are not required to allow an employee to use more than 40 hours of sick leave in one year. Continue reading NEW LAW: Coming Soon to Westchester County – Sick Leave

NEW GUIDANCE: FAQs Regarding Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act Published

Paid sick leave is coming to Michigan (at least for employers who employ more than 50 employees) — thanks to the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act. (For an overview of the Paid Medical Leave Act, please see “NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Earned Sick Time Act“)

In anticipation of this new law, LARA (Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) recently published FAQs relating to the Paid Medical Leave Act and also released the new required poster, which covered employers must post in the workplace.

One of the most important questions answered in the FAQs is addressing when the new  Paid Medical Leave Act takes effect.  According to LARA, the new law will take effect on March 29, 2019. Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: FAQs Regarding Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act Published

NEW GUIDANCE — New Jersey Publishes FAQs Regarding Paid Sick Leave Law

On October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law goes into effect.  In anticipation of this new law, on October 24, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) issued a list of frequently asked questions  relating to the new paid sick leave law.  This new guidance follows the NJDOL’s release of proposed paid sick leave regulations and the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave poster.

While much of the guidance provided restates information set forth in the proposed regulations or in the statute,  the newly issued FAQs clarify some open questions including (Note, the below are taken verbatim from the FAQs):

II. EMPLOYEES COVERED/NOT COVERED BY THE LAW

5. Is an employee who works both within New Jersey and outside of New Jersey entitled to receive earned sick leave? Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE — New Jersey Publishes FAQs Regarding Paid Sick Leave Law

NEW POSTER: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Issues New Paid Sick Leave Mandatory Poster

On October 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development published the required New Jersey paid sick leave law poster in English (other languages will be available soon).

This new poster includes information regarding the state’s new paid sick leave law.

This poster must be posted “in a conspicuous place” at the employer’s premises “where notices to employees and applicants for employment are customarily posted.”

In addition to the posting requirements, employers are required to provide employees with a copy of this poster at the following times:

  • Within 30 days of October 3, 2018 (the date it was issued by the NJDOL),
  • At the time of hiring (if the employee is hired after the notice is issued), and
  • The first time an employee requests a copy of the notice.

Employees can be provided with a hard copy of the notice or it may be distributed via email.

It is recommended that all New Jersey employers do the following as soon as possible:

  • Post this new poster in their workplace
  • Distribute the notice to all employees.

PROPOSED REGULATIONS: New Jersey Department of Labor Publishes Proposed Paid Sick Leave Regulations

The New Jersey paid sick leave law goes into effect on October 29, 2018.  In anticipation of the new law, the New Jersey Department of Labor recently released proposed regulations relating to the new paid sick leave law.

These regulations are subject to revision, but they do attempt to answer the following questions relating to the new law.

  • Accounting for exempt employees paid sick leave accrual. The regulations clarify that employers may count exempt paid sick leave accrual in one of the following ways:
    • Record the hours actually worked by an exempt employee; or
    • Presume that the exempt employee works 40 hours in a workweek for purposes of paid sick leave accrual.
  • New employee waiting period for “up front” paid sick leave. While the paid sick leave law did not address whether there was a waiting period for newly hired employees to use “up front” or “advanced” paid sick leave, the new regulations clarify that the 120-calendar day waiting period applies to both accrued and “up front” or “advanced” paid sick leave.
  • Calculating the paid sick leave rate of pay for non-exempt employees. The law simply states that “the employer shall pay the employee for earned sick leave at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as the employee normally earns” but provides no explanation regarding how that rate of pay is calculated.  The regulations explain that wages are calculated as follows:
    • The employer is not required to compensate an employee at an overtime rate if the paid sick leave is used for hours which would have otherwise qualified for compensation at an overtime premium rate.
    • If an employee works at 2 or more different rates, receives compensation on a piece-rate basis, the pay fluctuates or the compensation includes the value of gratuities, food or lodging, the employer must analyze the total earnings over the last 7 workdays for which leave was not taken — exclusive of overtime earnings — and divide by the total hours worked over those 7 workdays to determine the proper rate of pay for the sick leave benefit.
    • If, however, it is not feasible for the employer to determine the exact hourly wage for an employee whose pay includes the value of gratuities, food or lodging, the paid sick leave may be based upon an agreed hourly wage that must be at least the minimum wage (currently, $8.60).
    • If an employee is compensated on a commission basis, whether base wage plus commission or commission only, the employer must pay either the hourly base wage rate or the State minimum wage, whichever is higher.
  • Effect of paid sick leave use on employee benefit eligibility. The regulations clarify that an employee’s use of paid sick leave, for purposes of employee benefits, “shall be as if the employee worked those hours.”
  • Explanation of employer’s record keeping requirements. The regulations explain the employer’s record keeping obligations as follows:
    • Employers must keep all records documenting hours worked by employees and earned sick leave accrued/advanced, used, paid, and paid out and carried over by/to employees.
    • Employers are not required to keep records for exempt employees to whom the employer advances the full complement of paid sick leave or for whom the employer assumes forty (40) hour workweeks for the purposes of accrual of paid sick leave hours.
    • The records must be kept at the place of employment or in a central office in New Jersey
  • Providing notice of paid sick leave to employees. The law requires employers provide employees notice of their rights under the paid sick leave.  The regulations clarify that the notice requirement can be met by making the notice available to employees on a company internet or intranet site that all employees are able to access or by emailing the notice to the employees.
  • Revising the benefit year. The regulations set forth the following process, which employers must follow to obtain the New Jersey Department of Labor’s approval to change the benefit year:
    • The employer must provide 30 calendar days’ notice to the Commissioner of the proposed change to the benefit year.
    • The notice must:
      • be in writing;
      • identify the existing benefit year;
      • specify the proposed new benefit year;
      • advise of the proposed effective date of the new benefit year;
      • explain the reason for the change in the benefit year; and
      • provide a list of employees (with contact information and paid sick leave history over the past 2 benefit years).

Continue reading PROPOSED REGULATIONS: New Jersey Department of Labor Publishes Proposed Paid Sick Leave Regulations

NEW LAW: Michigan’s New Earned Sick Time Law

The Michigan Legislature recently adopted Michigan’s Earned Sick Time Act. This law, which was scheduled to be a ballot initiative (the Michigan Paid Sick Leave Initiative) in the November 2018 election, will require Michigan employers to provide 72 hours of sick leave per year to eligible employees. The new law will likely take effect on or about April 1, 2019*. Michigan employers should start preparations now to comply with this law as it will likely have a significant effect on their existing sick leave and PTO benefits plans.

Who is covered by Michigan’s Earned Sick Time Act?

All Michigan employers are covered by Michigan’s Earned Sick Time Act.  However, the size of the employer determines whether the sick leave provided is paid sick leave or unpaid sick leave.

All Michigan employers who employ 10 or more employees will be required to provide employees with paid sick leave.

All Michigan employers who employ 9 or fewer employees will be required to provide employees with both paid and unpaid sick leave. Continue reading NEW LAW: Michigan’s New Earned Sick Time Law

Austin Local Paid Sick Leave Law Enjoined

Earlier this year, Austin became the first city in Texas to pass a local paid sick leave law (Austin Takes Lead as First City in Texas to Require Paid Sick Leave).  This law requires employers to give employees one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked.   The paid sick leave law was to take effect on October 1, 2018.

Shortly after the law was passed, a lawsuit was filed to enjoin (i.e. prevent from going into effect) the new paid sick leave law.  On August 17, 2018, a Texas court granted the injunction.

What does this mean for employers in Austin?

The granting of the injunction means that the Austin paid sick leave law will NOT go into effect on October 1, 2018.  The law could go into effect at a later date.  We will keep an eye on this and update employers on any developments.

What does this mean for employers in San Antonio?

As we reported earlier this week (NEW LAW – San Antonio Passes Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinance), San Antonio also recently passed a local paid sick leave law.  While the injunction on the Austin law does not have any impact on the San Antonio law, the granting of the injunction may inspire similar legal action in San Antonio.

NEW LAW – San Antonio Passes Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On August 16, 2018, the San Antonio (Texas) City Council passed a new local paid sick leave ordinance.  The new law will go into effect in stages –

  • Large employers (more than 5 employees): Effective August 1, 2019
  • Small employers (5 or fewer employees): Effective August 1, 2021

Who is covered by the new San Antonio paid sick leave ordinance?

The new paid sick leave ordinance affects all employers who do business in the city of San Antonio.

What employees are eligible for paid sick leave?

All employees who perform “at least 80 hours of work for pay within the City of San Antonio, Texas in a year” are eligible for paid sick leave benefits.

How much paid sick leave must be provided?

Starting August 1, 2019 for larger employers (August 1, 2021 for small employers), eligible employees of San Antonio employers will start accruing paid sick leave. Continue reading NEW LAW – San Antonio Passes Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

NEW LAW: New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Law

On May 2, 2018, New Jersey enacted a mandatory sick leave law which will apply to all private employers, regardless of employee count. The new law will take effect on October 29, 2018 and will require employers to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to eligible employees. New Jersey employers should start preparations now to comply with this law as it will likely have a significant effect on their existing sick leave and PTO benefits plans.

Effective Date

October 29, 2018.

Employees Who Qualify for Sick Leave

All employees working in the state “for compensation” must be provided with paid sick leave.

The law specifically excludes employees in the construction industry subject to a collective bargaining agreement, per diem health care employees, and public employees who already receive sick leave benefits under another state law.

Employers Who Must Provide Sick Leave Continue reading NEW LAW: New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Law

Austin Takes Lead as First City in Texas to Require Paid Sick Leave

On February 16, 2018, the city of Austin, Texas enacted a mandatory sick leave law which will apply to all private employers. While it’s passage came with promises by members of the Texas State Legislature to push through legislation that will undo this law and prevent other municipalities from enacting their own sick leave laws, until such promises come to fruition, Austin employers should be prepared to comply with Austin’s new sick leave requirements.

Effective Date

For employers with more than 5 employees, the sick leave law will go into effect on October 1, 2018.  For smaller employers with 5 employees or less, the law will not take effect until October 1, 2020.

Note: All private employers will eventually be required to comply with the new law, regardless of employee count.

Employees Who Qualify for Sick Leave

All employees who work at least 80 hours in Austin during a calendar year will be entitled to sick leave.  In calculating an employee’s work hours for purposes of the sick leave law, an employees work performed through a temporary or employment agency will be counted.

The law specifically excludes independent contractors and unpaid interns.

Requirements for Accrual and Carryover

Employees will accrue sick leave as follows:

  • 1 hour of sick time will accrue for every 30 hours worked in the City.
  • Sick time begins accruing when the employment commences or when the sick leave law takes effect, whichever is later. Employees may begin using sick time as soon as it accrues.
  • Accrual may be capped based on the size of the employer, with large employers (those with more than 15 employees) permitted to cap accrual at 64 hours of leave time per year, and smaller employers (those with 15 employees or less) permitted to cap accrual at 48 hours per year.

Continue reading Austin Takes Lead as First City in Texas to Require Paid Sick Leave