The Statute Approved by Voters in November Requires
Employers to Provide Sick Leave Benefits by July 1, 2015
By Jack K. Merrill, Esq.
Though the process was unusual, the result is the same for employers – new obligations to workers. The sick leave initiative approved by voters on November 4 mandates benefits to all employees in Massachusetts and sets standards to comply with.
While most employers already offer sick leave benefits, the new law changes the playing field in important ways. Prescribed sick leave and job protections will be mandatory when it takes effect next July 1, and guidelines for leave use must be met. Regardless of current policies, all employers need to review their practices for statutory compliance. Most will be forced to make adjustments.
Part of the reason for this is uncertainty whether current policies will satisfy the law’s requirements. Part relates to specific conditions under which leave must be made available. And part derives from the grant of authority to the Attorney General’s office to make new rules.
The best approach, then, may be for employers to scrap their current policies and implement new ones designed to meet the specifics of the voter initiative. Doing so is easy enough, though adjustments might be necessary once the Attorney General implements its anticipated regulations. For now, employers should ensure that their sick leave policies include the following elements. [Read more…]