Paid Sick Leave Won’t Go Away

The momentum on paid sick leave laws has not slowed down and states, counties and cities across the United States – and even the federal government – are continuing to propose and implement mandatory paid sick leave laws. So far approximately 40 states, cities and counties have implemented mandatory paid sick leave laws. These states include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state, as well as Washington D.C.

For those employers with employees in California, eight different cities in the state also currently have their own paid sick leave laws that in some instances provide even more protection than that provided by state law. In addition, many states, including Maryland, Michigan, Nevada and New Jersey, are currently considering proposed paid sick leave laws. Given this patchwork of local, state and federal paid sick leave laws, an employer should consider  what law applies, and to what extent. Employers should consider that those aspects of each applicable law that are the most generous to the employee prevail.

An employer is tasked with picking and choosing those portions of both the state and local laws that are most generous to the employees and patching those together to craft a compliant paid sick leave policy. This becomes more difficult when employers have employees across numerous cities and states. As with illness, prevention is often the best remedy for a positive prognosis. To prevent future problems with paid sick leave, employers may wish to look into the individual requirements in any state, county or city where their employees perform work and confirm whether or not they fall within the definition of federal contractor with a covered contract under Executive Order 13706.

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