A number of states and local municipalities have recently
enacted paid sick leave legislation mandating paid time away from
work for employees. Unfortunately for employers, many of these laws
contain provisions that conflict with already-enacted paid sick
legislation and require an adjustment of current policies, leading
to confusion about requirements and entitlements.
Employers with operations in the following areas should revisit
their policies and make adjustments as needed to remain current or
to plan for upcoming changes:
Los Angeles, California (effective July 1,
2016): Employees working in the City of Los Angeles must
be provided with the ability to accrue and use up to 48 hours of
sick leave, twice the amount provided by state law. Los
Angeles' law does not have a lower cap for small employers.
Employers may provide the entire 48 hours of sick leave in a lump
sum, or the employer may use an accrual method by which employees
will accrue no less than one hour of paid sick time for every 30
hours worked (including overtime hours) within the City of Los
Angeles. For employers using the accrual method, employers may
implement an accrual cap at 72 hours, although no accrual cap is
required. Any unused sick time is then carried over to subsequent
San Diego, California (effective July 11,
2016): Employers must provide each employee with no less
than one (1) hour of earned sick leave for every thirty (30) hours
worked within the geographic boundaries of the city; employers may
cap the total accrual of sick leave at eighty (80) hours. Any
unused accrued earned sick leave must be carried forward to the
following benefit year. Instead of accrual, employers may grant an
employee 40 hours of paid sick leave each year, and may limit use
of earned sick leave to forty (40) hours in a benefit year.
Montgomery County, Maryland (effective October 1,
2016): Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, employers in Montgomery
County will have to provide most employees in the county with up to
56 hours of paid sick and safe leave. Employers with five or more
employees must provide at least one hour of paid leave for every 30
hours worked, not to exceed 56 hours of earned paid leave in a
calendar year. Employers with fewer than five employees must
provide leave at the same rate (one hour for every 30 hours worked)
and up to 56 hours of leave per year. However, for small employers,
only 32 hours must be paid and 24 hours can be provided on an
unpaid basis. Employees exempt from overtime requirements earn
leave pursuant to their normal workweek, up to 40 hours each week.
Employers may either award leave as it accrues throughout the
calendar year or grant the full amount of leave to be earned over
the course of the calendar year at the beginning of the year.
These paid sick leave laws are in place now (or in the case of
Montgomery County, Maryland, will be in place very soon!), so if
you have employees working in these areas and have any doubt about
your compliance, now is the time to take a careful look and call
legal counsel as needed. In Part II, we'll look at some
additional leave laws that will take effect next year. You
will have a little more time to plan for those laws, but better to
prepare now than wait until the last minute for those changes to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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It is commonly understood that under the FMLA, an eligible employee of a covered employer is entitled to 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, . . .
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