From the Hotline: Employee Sick Leave in California and Massachusetts

Question: We have employees in both California and Massachusetts. What guidance can you provide on meeting state-specific regulations under one sick leave policy?

Answer: As with other state-specific laws that differ from state to state, an employer may — as long as compliant in all states — offer a sick pay leave policy based on the most employee-generous state law. Should an employer choose to do this, the policy must be carefully crafted in accordance with accrual, use, and cap provisions for each state. In California, for instance, some cities have their own sick leave provisions (San Francisco and Oakland, for example). The guidance at this time for employers with employees in those cities is to use a combination of the city ordinance and state law to create a policy that is most generous to the employee.

Nearly all employers are modifying (or if they don’t have one, creating) sick leave policies to comply with these new state laws and city ordinances. Companies with unlimited PTO policies are also now finding that they must create sick leave policies that are separate and traceable. In California, the sick leave accrual and use must show on an employee’s pay stub. While employers may be able to maintain their unlimited PTO policies, they will have to create sick leave policies that offer at least the minimum sick pay accruals to all employees. Both the Massachusetts and California sick pay laws take effect July 1, 2015. Note that California has posting requirements effective January 1, 2015.


About ThinkHR

ThinkHR is a trusted PRG Partner, and a source for the latest Human Resources information.  Their Hotline staff, based in Pleasanton, California, expertly answers hundreds of ThinkHR customer calls per week, covering all 50 US States.

This article was originally published by ThinkHR and is republished with permission.