On June 10, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office issued two important items regarding the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law — an amended safe harbor and a workplace notice.
The law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, entitles many employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.
Below is a brief overview of the information that was provided on June 10th.
Amended Safe Harbor Notice
The initial Safe Harbor granted employers until January 1, 2016 to fully comply with the Earned Sick Time Law, as long as they had a policy in existence on May 1, 2015 that provided sufficient paid time off or paid sick leave. The amended Safe Harbor provided clarification on what an employer’s policy must provide in order to be in compliance with the new law for the remainder of the year, including:
- Their policy must provide full-time employees with at least 30 hours of paid sick time during the calendar year 2015
- Their employees’ paid time off can be used for all of the purposes permitted under the law (for example, employees must be able to take time off their own illness as well as the illness of a child)
- Their employees’ paid time off is truly job protected – employees cannot be subject to a negative evaluation, discipline or other adverse job actions for taking the time
- Hours that are unused during the transition year must be available to employees after January 1, 2016
- Employees not previously covered by the policy, including new, part-time, and per diem employees, accrue paid time off at the same rate as full-time employees or, if the policy provides lump sum allocations, receive a prorated lump sum allocation.
On June 10th, the Massachusetts Attorney General also released a Notice of Employee Rights. Effective July 1, 2015, this Notice must be posted “in a conspicuous location accessible to employees in every establishment where employees with rights under this law and these regulations work”.
In addition, employers must also provide a copy of the notice to employees.
I hope that you find this brief overview helpful.
Please stay tuned to CBG Benefits for additional information on this topic. We look forward to the upcoming release of the final regulations, and will certainly provide updates accordingly.
If you have any questions, please contact our team at 781-759-1222 or via email at info@CBGBenefits.com.