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Separate vs. Combined Leave Policies - The Pros and Cons

Executive Summary: With more and more jurisdictions on local and state levels enacting paid sick leave laws, and likely more to come, a frequent question from affected employers is whether it is preferable to have separate vacation/personal leave and paid sick leave policies or an all-inclusive paid time off (PTO) policy. There is no right or wrong answer to the question and, instead, many factors should be considered such as the size and structure of the company, the number of locations in places requiring paid sick leave, the industry norms for the amount and type of expected paid leave (i.e. what the competition is paying), and state laws on how paid leave is administered, among other factors.

The Evolving Paid Sick Leave Patchwork: 2016 Update

Another year, more PSL patches. With nearly 30 patches now, and contributions from every level of government, PSL has achieved full-fledged patchwork status.

Preemption Law Results Show Different Approaches States Take with Local Sick Leave Measures

2015 has been a notable year for the passage and implementation of local mandatory paid sick leave (PSL) laws. In addition to statewide laws taking effect in California and Massachusetts, new local laws have taken effect in Emeryville and Oakland, California; Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Paterson, and Trenton, New Jersey; and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. New laws also have been approved, but will not take effect until 2016, in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Tacoma, Washington. In response to the surge in local leave laws, some state officials have attempted to curb local governments’ authority to enact such measures. New legislation in Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon demonstrate some of the varying approaches legislators have taken to curtail the proliferation of local PSL laws.

The Evolving Paid Sick Leave Patchwork

Montgomery County, MD and Oregon passed it. California had passed it, then amended it within days after its effective date. In Massachusetts, the Attorney General issued regulations to implement it, and a court said the National Labor Relations Act does not preempt it. North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey (and likely others) are considering it.

DOL Backs Paid Leave Push in 3 States, D.C. with $500,000 Grant

Recently, we detailed the efforts to push for paid sick leave by state and local governments in light of California’s passage of a statewide paid leave law. Soon after our post, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau Director Latifa Lyles posted an entry on the DOL’s official “Work in Progress” blog, advocating for broader paid family leave across the country. Lyle notes that the United States remains the only industrialized nation without paid family leave. The post included data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and offered arguments in support of paid leave.

Not Just Minimum Wage: Proposed Paid Sick Leave Laws on the Rise, Too

Earlier this month, we told you about California’s new statewide sick leave law, which Governor Brown subsequently signed. While minimum wage increases seem to be getting the lion’s share of the press right now, proposed paid sick leave laws are on the rise nationwide, too. Connecticut is the only other state that grants paid sick leave (since 2012) and just passed more tweaks to it to guarantee at least some annual paid sick leave for most full and part-time employees. Overall, California’s law is the tenth in the nation when you count those at the state or local level that requires employers to provide paid sick leave, but that just scratches the surface of what is happening.
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