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.
Articles Discussing Workplace Sick Leave.
Another year, more PSL patches. With nearly 30 patches now, and contributions from every level of government, PSL has achieved full-fledged patchwork status.
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.
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.
As expected, lawmakers in both chambers reintroduced the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 932, S. 497), a bill that would allow most private-sector employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The law would apply to employers with 15 or more employees, and permit workers to accrue an hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours per year. Smaller employers would be required to provide unpaid leave.
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.