At the federal level, the Trump administration has stated an intent to focus on “paid family leave for new parents.” How far this initiative will go remains to be seen.
What follows is a quick review of state and local laws concerning sick leave and similar obligations.
Five states, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont currently require private sector employers to provide some amount of paid sick leave to their employees. Several other states and localities, however, have enacted new laws and many cities and counties have adopted their own requirements.
Chicago and Cook County
These communities will require sick leave for employees including Chicago employees as of July 1, 2017. To a non-Illinois attorney’s eye, the scheme appears complex. Employees will be eligible for paid sick time if they work 80 hours within 120 days. The rule requires accrual of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 paid sick leave hours per year, and up to 20 of those hours can be rolled over to the next year. The Chicago sick leave ordinance covers all employers that maintain a business facility within City limits or hold a license issued by the City. There are other municipalities within Cook County, however, that have opted out of that ordinance. If you are in Cook County, assistance from a legal advisor may be required.
Maryland came close to enacting a statute that would have required employers with 15 or more employees to provide up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year. That bill was vetoed but it remains on the agenda for the legislature.
Nevada had a similar experience with the governor vetoing a bill requiring certain employers to offer paid sick leave. The rule would have governed businesses with 25 or more employees to provide sick leave to those who worked full-time.
Paid family leave starts on January 1, 2018 with 8 weeks of leave. This will increase to 12 weeks of at least partially paid family leave when fully implemented.
As of July 1, 2017, Arizona employers must provide earned paid sick leave to employees.
Also effective July 1, 2017, some workers in Georgia (those who receive sick leave from their employers) will be entitled to use up to 5 days of leave per year to care for family members. The law does not require or mandate that sick leave be provided, it just governs the uses that voluntarily provided sick leave can be used for.
Minneapolis and St. Paul
Each have adopted ordinances which require employers with at least six employees to provide paid sick and “safe time” leave to employees who work in the cities.
There is now legislation pending which requires employers to offer workers at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
This ordinance remains stymied by appellate court decisions which concluded that Pittsburgh lacks the authority to enact the legislation.