Massachusetts Passes Sick Leave

November 13, 2014

Earlier this month, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question which requires public and private companies in Massachusetts to provide sick time to their employees. Employers with at least 11 employees will have to provide the opportunity for employees to earn paid sick time, while companies with fewer than 11 employees must provide the chance for employees to earn unpaid sick time. Sick time can be used for personal illness or medical appointments, for an illness of certain family members, or to deal with a domestic abuse situation. An employee must work at least 30 hours per week to be eligible to earn sick time. Also, under this measure, employees’ earned sick time will max out at 40 hours per year, unless the employer has a policy that provides for greater benefits. Employees can carryover up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year, but they cannot use more than 40 hours in a calendar year. Employers do not have to pay employees for earned, unused sick time at the end of their employment. Employees can use earned sick time 90 days after hire. The law goes into effect in July 2015.