Voters in Massachusetts have approved a statewide law mandating employers with at least 11 employees provide those employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. This mandate makes Massachusetts the third state requiring paid sick days, behind Connecticut and California. Under the new law, effective July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employees can earn up to 5 paid sick days a year, and those who work for employers with less than 10 employees will be eligible for unpaid sick days. The new law covers both private and public employers and requires the paid sick time to be compensated at the same hourly rate currently paid to the employee. Additionally, the law will permit employees to roll-over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year and specifically prohibits employers from interfering with or retaliating against an employee for the use of earned sick time. We are advising our clients with operations in Massachusetts, and in other states and cities with similar laws, to revise their policies and their employee handbooks to properly account for this new requirement.
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