Bulletin: Labor and Employment Compliance – MA Paid Sick Leave Law To Take Effect
Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect July 1, 2015
As a result of a referendum passed by Massachusetts voters in November of 2014, Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees must allow workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each calendar year, beginning July 1, 2015. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must provide at least unpaid sick leave. Employee counts include all employees working for the employer, regardless of whether or not they are physically located in Massachusetts.
Under the new law, employees will accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to the maximum of 40 hours. While employees are only entitled to use 40 hours of sick leave per year, they are allowed to carry up to 40 hours over to the next calendar year.
Employers with paid time off plans or policies equal to or greater than the sick leave law mandates are not required to provide additional paid sick time. Also, the Massachusetts Attorney General recently released a Safe Harbor for the first year transition period. According to the statement, those employers with a paid time off policy in existence as of May 1, 2015, which affords employees at least 30 hours of paid time off during the 2015 calendar year are deemed to be compliant with the law. The statement goes on to say, “ On or before January 1, 2016, all employers operating under this safe harbor provision must adjust their paid time off policy to conform with the earned sick time law”.
Accompanying regulations state that an employer must post notice of the law and the regulations, as well as provide a copy to all employees. Employers should also distribute this notice to new hires as they come aboard.
Paid sick leave laws have become a hot legislative topic, with numerous states introducing bills this legislative session. An overall increase in federal and state new hire requirements such as; paid sick leave, wage acknowledgement, pregnancy and accommodation has employers revisiting their policies, handbooks, and new hire onboarding processes to ensure they are adequately prepared for previously passed and newly introduced mandates.
Employers should continuously monitor the compliance landscape to keep abreast of changes in state notification requirements that might affect them. Equifax Workforce Solutions can help simplify compliance with the various federal and state notifications through Compliance Center, an onboarding solution that helps support compliance with new regulatory guidelines. To learn more about how Equifax Workforce Solutions can help you stay abreast and in compliance with state and federal notice requirements, please contact us using the subject line “Labor & Employment Compliance Bulletin.”
Related links: Learn more about State Compliance trends and best practices
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