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[IWS] Towers Watson: PAID SICK LEAVE LAWS: A GROWING TREND ACROSS THE U.S. [21 April 2014]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Press Release 21 April 2014
Paid Sick Leave Laws: A Growing Trend Across the U.S.
In 2006, San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to require paid sick leave. Since then, the momentum for paid sick leave has been building, with Washington, D.C.; Jersey City, N.J.; New York City; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; the state of Connecticut; and most recently Newark, N.J., following suit. Washington, D.C., and New York City have recently expanded their sick leave laws.
•New York City now requires employers with five or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Previously, the law only applied to employers with 15 or more employees. The New York City law took effect April 1.
•Washington, D.C., eliminated its one-year service requirement, thereby allowing all employees to immediately begin earning sick leave (although they may not use the leave until after 90 days of employment). The amendments also imposed new recordkeeping requirements on employers, added new rules for retention of leave following transfers and separations, and extended coverage to tipped restaurant workers. The amendments to the paid sick leave law will go into effect once funds for implementation are included in the budget and published in the D.C. Register.
•The Newark, N.J., law requires certain employers with 10 or more employees — as well as employers of child care, home health care and food services workers — to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year. The Newark ordinance generally takes effect May 29, 2014.
Legislation mandating paid sick leave has been introduced in a number of other states and cities, including California, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Chicago. Efforts are also underway to enact legislation in other jurisdictions, such as Massachusetts, Oregon and Tacoma, Wash.
In a countertrend, some states have enacted preemption laws that prohibit local governments from passing paid sick leave legislation, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. Wisconsin enacted legislation in 2011 that bars cities, villages and counties from enacting family and medical leave rules that differ from state standards, which effectively eliminated Milwaukee’s paid sick ordinance.
Employers will want to closely monitor future developments. Also, employers in Washington, D.C.; Jersey City, N.J.; Newark, N.J.; New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Seattle; and Connecticut should review their existing leave policies to ensure they are in compliance with the law, and their payroll records properly track the amount of sick leave accrued and used by covered employees.
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