An Overview of Massachusetts Earned Sick Time for Employees Law
What is the effective date of the law?
July 1, 2015.
Which employees are entitled to earn sick time?
Employees (including part-time) who work for employers having eleven or more employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. Employees (including part-time) who work for employers having ten or less employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year. In determining the number of employees who are employed by an employer for compensation, all employees performing work for compensation on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis shall be counted.
How do employees earn sick time?
An employer must provide a minimum of one hour of earned sick time for every thirty hours worked by an employee.
When can an employee begin to use earned sick time?
Employees can begin to use earned sick time on the 90th day after hire.
For what purposes can an employee use earned sick time?
An employee can use earned sick time if required to miss work in order to: (1) care for the employee's child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse, who is suffering from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care; or (2) care for the employee's own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care; or (3) attend the employee's routine medical appointment or a routine medical appointment for the employee's child, spouse, parent, or parent of spouse; or (4) address the psychological, physical or legal effects of domestic violence.
Can an employer require a certification?
Employers can require certification of the need for sick time if an employee used sick time for more than 24 consecutively scheduled work hours. Employers can not delay the taking of or payment for earned sick time because they have not received the certification. Employees have to make a good faith effort to notify the employer in advance if the need for earned sick time is foreseeable.
Can an employee carry over earned sick time from year to year?
Employees can carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year, but cannot use more than 40 hours in a calendar year.
Must an employer compensate an employee for earned sick time upon the separation of employment?
Employers are not be required to pay out unused earned sick time upon the separation of the employee from the employer
Is it unlawful for an employer to interfere with these rights?
Yes, it is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided, including, but not limited to, by using the taking of earned sick time under this section as a negative factor in any employment action such as evaluation, promotion, disciplinary action or termination, or otherwise subjecting an employee to discipline for the use of earned sick time. It is also unlawful for any employer to take any adverse action against an employee because the employee opposes practices which the employee believes to be in violation of this law, or because the employee supports the exercise of rights of another employee under this law.
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