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Friday, September 12, 2014

States With Pro-Employee Laws: Paid Sick Leave

Or, States That Don't Suck For Employees, Part IV

Oh, sure, if you're lucky enough to qualify for Family and Medical Leave, you may or may not get some paid time off if you have a serious medical condition. You're paid under that law if you have any paid sick leave or vacation time, and then the rest of the leave is unpaid. However, whether or not you get any paid sick time is up to your employer.

That is, unless you live in a state beginning with the letter C.

California became the second state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave under the law signed this week. Most employees will accrue three paid sick days per year, at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. San Francisco and San Diego already had a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance in place.

Connecticut was the first state to mandate sick leave. Employers with 50 or more employees, unless they are non-profits, must provide 1 hour of sick leave per 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time to service workers.

Massachusetts may break the C trend because voters there will get to approve a paid sick leave law when they vote in November.

Five cities in New Jersey have paid sick leave ordinances. So have two cities in Oregon. New York City has a paid sick leave law, along with Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The U.S. is the only major Western country without any law requiring paid sick leave for employees. Of 22 countries studied, we are the only country that provides zero paid sick leave for a worker undergoing a 50-day cancer treatment and we're 1 of only 3 countries that does not provide paid sick days for a worker missing 5 days of work due to the flu.

Making workers come to work sick is bad for everyone. It spreads illness and results in crappy morale. Hopefully more states (or even Congress) will wake up soon.


  1. Employment lawyers can be so helpful. There are a lot of things that we don't know when it comes to these things. It would be great to have someone on our side that knows what's happening. http://www.jjlaw.ca/?page_id=4

  2. This is supposed to be mandated to each and every workplace! Too bad some states are naive to not even consider a paid sick leave? So what happens if someone gets chickenpox and decides to work, is that legal?!

  3. @1stpersonalinjuryattorneysandiego - I agree. This should be mandated across all states. I think it's just fair to everyone. With regards to chickenpox as your example, as long as other staff in the workplace had already exposed with the virus, then that's fine otherwise anyone can be infected with it.


I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.