Tag Archives: Paid 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 LAW: Michigan Amends Earned Sick Time Act

Earlier this year, we reported that Michigan had passed a new paid sick leave law (see NEW LAW: Michigan’s New Earned Sick Time Law).  In this article, we cautioned employers that since the law that was initially passed was scheduled to be a ballot initiative (the Michigan Paid Sick Leave Initiative) in the November 2018 election, the Michigan legislature would likely amend the law (and in amending the law, would make substantial changes to the requirements).

Well, the Michigan legislature did not disappoint.  On December 14, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 1175 (the Paid Medical Leave Act) into law.  This new law amends and greatly overhauls the Michigan paid sick and safe time law as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Earned Sick Time Act

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.

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

California Employers — Watch Out For These Common Wage And Hour Problems

California’s wage and hour laws are complicated and is constantly changing.  As a result, employers often find themselves running afoul of one (or more) of these laws and facing potential liability.

To mitigate your risk of a wage claim, we recommend that employers regularly audit their wage and hour practices to ensure compliance with California law.  When conducting this audit, make sure you have a clear understanding of the following common problems relating to compensating non-exempt employees:

Overtime And Double Time For Non-Exempt (Hourly Paid) Employees

  • California employers must pay overtime (1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay) to non-exempt employees as follows:
    • For all hours worked over eight hours in a workday or 40 hours a week
    • The first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek
  • California employers must pay double time (2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay) to non-exempt employees as follows:
    • For hours worked over 12 hours in any workday
    • For hours worked over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek

Calculating The Regular Rate Of Pay

  • The regular rate of pay is the employee’s actual rate of pay, which includes the employee’s regular hourly earnings (i.e. hourly rate of pay) plus any additional compensation that must be included in the regular rate of pay – including:
    • Commission payments;
    • Piece rate payments;
    • Non-discretionary bonuses (e.g. productivity bonus, performance bonus, attendance bonus, longevity bonus, cost-of-living bonus);
    • Awards or prizes won for quality, quantity or efficiency;
    • Shift differentials;
    • Premiums paid for hazardous, arduous or dirty work;
    • Non-cash wages in the form of goods, board, or lodging;
    • Pay for non-productive work hours (e.g. rest breaks, waiting time, attending meetings); and
    • Lump sum on-call payments.
  • Payments excluded from regular rate of pay:
    • Premium (or extra) pay for daily or weekly overtime;
    • Premium pay for work on weekends, holidays, regular days of rest or the sixth or seventh day of the workweek (if it is at least 1.5 times the rate for work performed during non-overtime hours on other days);
    • Premium pay for work outside the agreed to hours (if it is at least 1.5 times the rate for work performed during the agreed to hours);
    • Discretionary bonuses;
    • Gifts;
    • Certain payments that are not made as compensation for hours of work (e.g. vacation pay, paid time off, sick time, and reimbursement for business expenses);
    • Payments to a bona fide profit-sharing plan or trust or a bona fide thrift or savings plan;
    • Irrevocable contributions to employee health and welfare plans; and
    • Certain stock options, appreciation rights and purchase programs.

Split Shift Premiums

  • Under the split shift premium rule, an employee must receive one hour’s pay at no less than the minimum wage rate for the time between shifts.  An employer can use any hourly amount the employee earns above minimum wage to offset the split shift requirement.

Reporting Time Pay

  • “Reporting time pay” is partial compensation for employees who report to work expecting to work a specified number of hours and who are deprived of that amount because of inadequate scheduling or lack of proper notice by the employer. The provisions of the law regarding reporting time pay are as follows:
    • Each workday an employee is required to report to work, but is not put to work or is furnished with less than half of his or her usual or scheduled day’s work, he or she must be paid for half the usual or scheduled day’s work, but in no event for less than two hours nor more than four hours, at his or her regular rate of pay.
    • If an employee is required to report to work a second time in any one workday and is furnished less than two hours of work on the second reporting, he or she must be paid for two hours at his or her regular rate of pay.

Rest Periods

  • Employers are required to provide a 10-minute, duty-free rest break during each period of four hours (or major fraction thereof, i.e. 2 hours) worked by an employee.  Employers are not required rest periods when an employee’s total daily work time is less than 3½ hours.  This means that employees are entitled to rest periods as follows:
    • An employee who works more than 3½ hours and up to 6 hours is entitled to 1 rest period
    • An employee who works more than 6 hours and up to 10 hours is entitled to 2 rest periods
    • An employee who works more than 10 hours and up to 14 hours is entitled to 3 rest periods
    • An employee who works more than 14 hours and up to 18 hours is entitled to 4 rest periods

Meal Periods

  • Any employee who works more than five hours in a day must be provided with a 30-minute unpaid, duty free meal period.   The meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s 5th hour of work (in other words, before the start of the employee’s 6th hour of work).
    • If an employee’s entire workday is completed in six hours or less, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. This consent should be in writing and signed by both the employee and the employer. If the employee’s workday is more than 6 hours, then the meal period cannot be waived.
  • Any employee who works more than ten (10) hours in a day must be provided with a second unpaid, duty free meal period, also at least 30 minutes in duration. The second meal period must begin no later than the end of an employee’s 10th hour of work (i.e. before the employee works more than 10 hours).
    • If the total workday is 12 hours or less, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee, but only if the first meal period was taken. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a day, the second meal period may not be waived (except employees in the health care industry may voluntarily waive their second meal period after 12 hours).

Timekeeping Requirements

  • Employers must record the beginning and end of each workday and the beginning and end of unpaid meal or other unpaid periods.

Wage Theft Protection Act Notice

  • All non-exempt employees must be provided with a Wage Theft Prevention Notice at time of hire and within 7 days of a change.  A sample notice is available here.

Cellphone Reimbursement (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must reimburse employees who use personal cellphones for business purposes for both voice and data fees incurred for business purposes.

Paid Sick Leave (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must provide employees with paid sick leave in accordance with state or, if applicable, local law.

Pay Stub Requirements (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must provide all employees with an itemized statement of wages that includes the following information:
    • Gross wages earned;
    • Total hours worked by the employee (not required for salaried, exempt employees);
    • For piece-rate employees, the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, and the total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for those periods during the pay period, and the total hours of other nonproductive time, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for that time during the pay period;
    • All deductions (all deductions made on written orders of the employee may be aggregated and shown as one item);
    • Net wages earned;
    • The inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid;
    • The employee’s name and the last four digits of his or her social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number;
    • The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer; and
    • All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period, and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate by the employee.
  • In addition, all employee paychecks must list the address of a specific location within the state where the check can be cashed without a fee.

Vacation Pay (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Forfeiture of vacation is prohibited in California
    • “Use it or lose it” policies are not permitted
    • All accrued but unused vacation must be paid upon termination

Final Paychecks (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • All employees must receive their final wages within the following timeframe:
    • Immediately upon involuntary termination
    • Within 72 hours if employee resigns without notice
    • On last day of work if employee resigns with at least 72 hours’ notice
  • All wages “due and owing” must be paid with the final wages, otherwise waiting time penalties are assessed.  This includes accrued, unused vacation and/or meal/rest period premiums
    • Commissions or other performance-based pay must be paid as soon as it can be calculated, regardless of when it otherwise would be paid.
  • No deduction may be taken from final paychecks unless legally mandated, authorized in writing by the employee, or for a loss attributable to the employee’s dishonest or willful act or gross negligence (but only if the employer is absolutely positive that it can be proven that the employee was not simply negligent). No balloon deductions for payoffs of employer loans to employees.