Paid sick leave is a current legislative trend across America. With 50 states and 39,000 municipalities In the U.S., new rules and regulations are being mandated rapidly. Five states – Oregon, California, Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts – have policies in place, as does the District of Columbia. Over 25 local jurisdictions in California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington also have passed laws.
If you live in Vermont, you can expect this in terms of paid sick leave:
- Law will become effective on January 1, 2017.
- Employers with five or more employees who are employed for an average of 31 hours or more per week will be subject to the law.
- Eligible employees are entitled to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 52 hours worked subject to the following caps:
- From January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 employers may limit an employee’s accrual and use of sick time to 24 hours in a 12-month period.
- After December 31, 2018 Vermont employers may limit an employee’s accrual and use of sick time to 40 hours in a 12-month period.
- Employees generally allowed to carry over unused sick time unless the amount exceeds the caps stated above. Employers can elect to pay employees for unused sick time instead of allowing for a carryover – this is not mandatory.
- Employers may impose a “waiting period” of up to one year for newly hired employees of for current employees who are employed on the law’s effective date. During the waiting period, employees will accrue sick time but cannot use it until the completion of the one-year waiting period.
- Employers can request that employees make “reasonable efforts” to avoid scheduling routine or preventative health care during work hours. Employers may also require employee to notify the employer as soon as practical in the intent of using paid sick time.
- Employees must be allowed to use sick leave in the smallest time increments that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for other absences or time off policies – not required to permit paid sick time for increments less than an hour.
- Employers must post notice of the law’s requirements in a conspicuous place – must provide notice of sick leave rights to new hires.