Who qualifies for coronavirus paid sick leave under new law?

sick days

The Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, capped at 52 hours (or 6.5 days) per year. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees would be required to offer workers one hour of paid sick time for every 80 hours worked, capped at 26 hours (or 3.25 days) per year. Workers may use paid sick days to recover from their own illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from or seek services related to incidents of domestic violence. The Minnesota Healthy Families, Healthy Workplace Act from 2009 would have provided all workers with paid sick days to be used to recover from their own illness, to care for a sick family member, or for absence related to domestic violence.

Labor Commissioner’s Office

The Department of Labor has noted that federal grants are excluded from the coverage of Executive Order 13706, as well as employees who perform work in connection with covered contracts for less than twenty percent (20%) of their hours worked in a particular workweek. The University may limit the amount of paid sick leave employees may accrue under Executive Order to 56 hours each year, but must permit those employees to carry over accrued, unused sick leave from one year to the next. The University also may limit the amount of paid sick leave employees have accrued to 56 hours at any point in time. The Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition, directed by Greater Boston Legal Services in collaboration with the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action are advocating for a paid sick days bill in the state legislature.

Sick leave

Employees of smaller businesses would be guaranteed a minimum of five paid sick days annually. The bill would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to seven days per year for larger businesses and up to four days per year for small businesses. The paid sick days would have been used for an employee’s own illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from incidents of domestic violence and stalking.

The coalition advocating for paid sick days in the city of Philadelphia, led by PathWays PA, is supporting the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces ordinance. Under this measure, workers would be able to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers in larger businesses could earn up to 72 hours (or 9 days) of paid sick time, and workers in smaller businesses could earn up to 40 hours (or five days) of paid sick time. Workers would be able to use their earned sick days to recover from illness or to care for a sick family member.

UPDATE
New Questions Concerning the Paid Sick Leave Law
Updated March 29, 2017

It also allows people to take time off to care for ill parents and elderly relatives, or to attend diagnostic or routine medical appointments. While these short-term paid sick days and paid family and medical leave provisions are critical and will help many workers, the exclusions and exemptions in this legislation will primarily hurt workers earning low wages, who are predominantly women, people of color, and immigrants. For example, the exclusion of employees working for large employers inexcusably leaves out millions of workers. While some large employers provide paid family leave, it is often provided inequitably, leaving many workers earning low wages without similar benefits.

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The U.S. does guarantee unpaid leave for serious illnesses through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law requires employers with 50 workers working within a 75-mile radius to comply and, within those businesses, covers employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months prior to taking the leave. In January 2015, President Barack Obama asked Congress to pass the Healthy Families act under which employees could earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours they work up to seven days or 56 hours of paid sick leave annually. The bill as proposed, would apply to employers with 15 or more employees, for employees as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act. PathWays PA is working with a large coalition to support paid sick days for all Pennsylvania workers.

Workers would have been able to use their days to recover from their own illness, care for a sick family member, or seek preventive or routine health care. The legislation would have also created a safe day mandate that survivors of domestic or sexual assault could use for legal or health issues. New York State Assemblyman Karim Camara and State Senator Kevin Parker introduced legislation in the New York legislature that would require employers to provide one hour of paid sick time for every 20 hours worked. Workers at larger businesses (defined as having 10 or more employees) would be able to earn up to 80 hours (or ten days) of paid sick time per year, and workers at smaller businesses could earn up to 40 hours (or five days).

sick days

  • The coalition advocating for paid sick days in the city of Philadelphia, led by PathWays PA, is supporting the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces ordinance.
  • Workers in larger businesses could earn up to 72 hours (or 9 days) of paid sick time, and workers in smaller businesses could earn up to 40 hours (or five days) of paid sick time.

How do qualifying employees accrue and take paid sick leave

Two studies demonstrate that employment rates in San Francisco have not suffered in the wake of the paid sick days law. However, the research also found that over 28 percent of employees in the “bottom wage quartile” faced layoffs or total hours reduced as a result of the paid sick leave mandate. New York City’s law requires workers in the city earn paid sick time at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Workers at businesses with more than 15 employees are eligible to accrue up to 40 hours (or five days) of paid sick leave per year. Additionally at companies of any size, no one can be fired for taking an unpaid sick day.

The Mayor had long said that the issue was best addressed at the federal level, and that a city mandate would make Philadelphia less competitive with neighboring cities that did not impose a paid sick leave mandate. Effective May 13, 2015, the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance requires employers with 10 or more employees in the City of Philadelphia to provide paid and unpaid sick leave to eligible employees. The Ordinance covers full- and part-time employees who work at least 40 hours per year within the City of Philadelphia. Eligible employees will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. Paid sick days legislation in Illinois would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time per 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of seven days per year.

Workers would have earned one hour of paid sick time per 40 hours worked, capped at 52 hours (or 6.5 days) per year. Smaller businesses would have provided one hour of paid sick time for every 80 hours worked, capped at 26 hours (or 3.25 days) per year. New York City’s paid sick leave law requires workers in the city earn paid sick time at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. In March 2008, the Washington, D.C. Council voted unanimously to pass legislation guaranteeing workers paid sick time. Under the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, workers in businesses with 100 or more workers earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year, workers in businesses with workers earn five days, and workers in businesses with 24 or fewer workers earn three days.

Certain workers who are exempt from minimum wage laws would not be covered by the law. Iowa’s paid sick and safe days proposal, introduced by State Sen. Thomas Courtney (on behalf of the Senate Committee on Labor and Business Relations) in 2010, would have allowed workers to earn 5.54 hours of job-protected, paid sick time per 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 18 days per year. Leave could be used to recover from illness, to seek diagnosis or treatment, to care for a sick family member, to seek services related to domestic assault, sexual abuse, or stalking, or in the event of a public health emergency.

Under the Healthy Workplace Act, paid sick days could be used to recover from an illness, care for a sick family member, or seek medical diagnosis or treatment. Under San Francisco’s law, workers earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers in businesses with 10 or fewer employees earn up to five days per year, while workers at larger businesses earn nine days per year. Workers use paid sick time to recover from illness, attend doctor visits or care for a sick child, partner, or designated loved one.

Workers may use their accrued time to care for their own illness, that of a family member or to seek preventive medical care for themselves or a family member. City Coucilmember Gale Brewer’s legislation passed in the spring of 2013, requiring paid sick days for nearly 1 million New York City workers. Gale’s bill was opposed by some business interests, Mayor Bloomberg, and the City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but she was able to build overwhelming public support and convinced the Speaker to change her mind. The United States does not currently require that employees have access to paid sick days to address their own short-term illnesses or the short-term illness of a family member.

The coalition includes advocates for workers, seniors, children, and people of color, and is supporting a bill that would provide all workers with one hour of paid sick time per 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of seven days per year. Workers could use the paid sick days to recover from illness, to care for a sick family member, or to seek assistance related to domestic violence. The legislation would have allowed workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers would have been able to use the paid sick days to recover from illness, to care for an ill family member, or to seek services related to sexual assault, or domestic violence. The bill would have guaranteed employees of businesses with 10 or more employees the right to use a minimum of nine paid sick days annually.

The bill creates a minimum requirement that allows workers to earn up to seven days per year of paid leave to recover from illness, to care for a sick family member, or to seek preventative health care. It enables victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault to take paid time off to recover from incidents and seek assistance from the police or court.

Furthermore, it is truly shortsighted during a public health emergency to allow employers of health care providers and emergency responders to opt out of providing paid sick days and paid family and medical leave—or for the U.S. Many health care providers and emergency responders are themselves succumbing to the COVID-19 infection or are exhibiting symptoms but may not be allowed to use these important leave provisions to take time for their own health needs. This will potentially force these workers to go to work sick or symptomatic and further spread contagion. Voices for Vermont’s Children, the Vermont Livable Wage Campaign, and their coalition partners supported legislation in Vermont from 2009 that would have allowed employee to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours (or seven days) each year.

This paid time off can be used to recover from illnesses, care for sick family members, seek routine or preventative medical care, or obtain assistance related to domestic violence or sexual assault. The law exempts tipped restaurant workers as well as workers in the first year of employment. law was also the first in the United States to include paid “safe” days for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Executive Order requires certain employers who contract with the federal government to provide their employees with up to fifty-six hours (seven workdays) of paid sick leave annually, including for family care and absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Accordingly, employees performing work on or in connection with a federal contract that is covered by Executive Order and who are not otherwise eligible for sick leave benefits will be paid sick leave benefits in accordance with the terms of that Executive Order.

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