Last updated on May 21st, 2015 at 09:13 am
Massachusetts employers that already offer paid sick time to their workers now have until the end of 2015 to fully adjust their policies to comply with a new earned sick time law that goes into effect July 1.
The provision offers “much-needed breathing room for employers” that need more time to adjust their payroll systems, according to Associated Industries of Massachusetts and other groups, including the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, which appealed to the state’s attorney general, Maura Healey, to delay the law. Employers had expressed concern that they wouldn’t have enough time to put in place the many regulations contained in the law by July 1.
The law applies to temporary, part-time and seasonal employees as well as full-time workers; seasonal employees who return to the same employer in less than a year’s time will be able to carry over all unused sick time accrued within that year. In addition, employees who work in multiple states will be able to count their non-Massachusetts hours toward their accrual of earned sick time.
“It gives the businesses and nonprofits that have already been offering earned sick time to their employees slightly more time to update their systems without fear of legal action,” said Healey on May 18. “It is a reasonable step that gives all workers access to earned sick time by July 1 while giving businesses that have already been doing the right thing more time as they move into compliance with the new law.”
The one new regulation that all companies must implement in July mandates that an employee cannot lose his or her job or be otherwise punished for taking sick leave.
Companies with 11 or more workers are required to offer up to 40 hours of paid sick time a year, and smaller businesses must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time.