Although paid sick leave is not generally required under federal law, it may be required under state or local law. In the absence of federal law, an increasing number of states, counties and municipalities have chosen to adopt a paid sick leave law. When an employer operates or has employees in a jurisdiction that requires paid sick leave, they need to carefully check the state and local law’s requirements.
Over the last several years, many states, cities, and counties have passed and put into law Paid Sick Leave ordinances. While this is a great benefit for the employee, it is making it harder and more complicated to be an employer.
For employers that operate in multiple locations that have paid sick leave laws, this can be a daunting task, as each law has its own standards regarding which employees are covered, which employers must comply, how employers must comply and more. While many of the paid sick leave laws have common requirements, they all have unique provisions. An employer must figure out if and how the laws interact with each other (and in some cases, other laws) and adjust business practices accordingly. An employer must also keep abreast of amendments to the laws and relevant government regulations.
To assist with this, ClearPath has created a free Cheat Sheet outlining the current Paid Sick Leave ordinances. This Paid Sick Leave Cheat Sheet was created because ClearPath pays close attention to this detail, on behalf of our client companies.
Each State has a different Paid Sick Leave ordinance
In part, the complexity of managing Paid Sick Leave regulations is due to the lack of a single rule to follow. For example, the State of California adopted a statewide rule in July 2015. But some cities already had local regulations on the books or adopted their own rules after this ordinance went into effect. California employers are expected to know the state rule is used unless the employee is working in Berkeley, Emeryville, the City of Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, or Santa Monica. Other states have similar caveats, for instance in New Jersey, there are twelve different city ordinances to administer. This Spring, Michigan just added a new statewide ruling on Paid Sick Leave and Duluth Minnesota has a rule pending January 1, 2020. There are also changes coming to Texas in Dallas and San Antonio soon.
Each state and local ordinance also sets their own criteria. These include the amount of hours of sick paid that are accrued (for example, 1 hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked), when the accrual starts (date of hire or X amount days after hire), when the employee can use the time accrued (such as a 90 day waiting period), maximum hours they accrue per year, and if the hours can be rolled over to the following year.
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Other areas of exposure to consider:
- Paid Sick Leave notices must be displayed where workers can see them. You may be fined if they are not displayed.
- Most ordinances require that paid sick leave accruals appear on the employee’s pay stub. There could be a possible fine for not having the accrual on the paystub.
- Laws prohibit an employer from denying an employee the right to use paid sick leave, discharging, threatening to discharge, demoting, suspending or in any manner discriminating against an employee.
- Laws protect the employees against retaliation for using sick leave, filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, alleging a violation of these rights, cooperate in an investigation or prosecution, or oppose a policy or practice prohibited by the ordinance.
Avoid Paid Sick Leave employer confusion
If you are a Small or Medium Business (SMB), struggling with these ordinances on your own, we’ve created a Paid Sick Leave Cheat Sheet to eliminate the confusion. It lists all the states, cities, and counties, when the ordinance was enacted, accrual rate, how many hours per year can be accrued, when the accrual begins, when the employee can use the accrual, and a link to the particular legislation that gives more details. This is particularly helpful to SMBs or employers with limited resources to track and manage these complexities. To get your copy, click here.
Tired of being the employer? If you want to turn over the headache of tracking and complying with these and other ordinances and employer laws, consider ClearPath as your Employer of Record service. We can take care of your employees and all the complexities of compliance allowing you to focus on your business.
Contact ClearPath to explore a potential partnership.