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  • Updated Detail on Paid Sick Leave Requirements in All States

    On July 14th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, reminding us that (for anyone keeping score at home) there are now more than 30 separate laws throughout the US addressing paid sick leave requirements on a state, city or county level.  Keeping up with the changes is always a challenge; but, even more so for multi-state (and sometimes even multi-city) employers trying to develop a uniform policy that addresses all employees.

    A few pointers:

    • Be extremely familiar with the fine points of each state law or local ordinance addressing paid sick leave.  They are not all the same.
    • Recognize that, if developing a single policy that addresses all employees is going to be the goal, then the most generous provisions of each law or ordinance must be incorporated into the policy.  Although this may be complicated and lead to the providing of additional benefits beyond those required for many employees, it may be the preferred approach when compared to issuing separate policies for each state or locality.
    • Don’t forget that employees talk, and can be easily confused by different benefits being provided to their colleagues. Not everyone will understand why that is.
    • Ensure that no employee is provided a lesser benefit than what their prevailing rule requires.  This can include the amount of paid sick leave days or hours, the accrual rate, minimum increments of the leave, the carry over requirement, the reasons for which the leave can be taken, the ability to require a doctor’s note and more.
    • Remember that (as so often is the case) the “devil is in the details.”  Many of the laws and ordinances require the inclusion of pay stub notifications, non-retaliation statements, reporting processes, interaction with other leaves and more.
    • Reconsider (if at all possible) all-inclusive PTO policies that now must include the payout of the paid sick leave when an employee leaves (in many states), as well as creating possible sensitive situations with medical disclosures and doctor’s notes for unscheduled absences.
    • Be sure to review carefully policies and legal requirements addressing the salary basis for exempt employees and how that interacts with paid sick leave.

    And, the best advice…

    Keep the following chart of all paid sick leave requirements, by state, close by.  It is updated through mid-July, so remember that it can (and undoubtedly will) be changing.

    Paid Sick Leave by State – July 2020