Two years ago, on July 1, 2015, Massachusetts passed an earned sick time law to protect workers. Happy Anniversary! Thanks to progressive state legislators, the commonwealth now shelters many workers from worry about losing their jobs (or paying the mortgage) because of bona fide, short-time illnesses or family medical emergencies. Click here for a full text of the law, M.G.L. ch. 149, section 148C.
In a nutshell, while unpaid leave is typical, businesses with eleven or more employees must provide their Massachusetts workers paid sick leave. Most workers accrue (or earn) one paid hour for every thirty hours worked in a calendar year, and they can then take up to forty hours of paid leave during the year. Of course, the sick time must be used for eligible purposes. But, the employer may never require–as a condition of granting, using, or verifying earned sick time–that an employee provide documentation to explain the nature of the illness. In addition, employers are barred from interfering with, or retaliating against, an employee who attempts to exercise his or her rights under the earned sick time law. Moreover, there are severe penalties for employers who fail to comply with these and other provisions.
Even two years in, however, there remains some confusion and hostility from a handful of employers. If you believe that your sick-time rights have been violated by your employer, it is important to contact an experienced employment lawyer who is well-versed in the new statute and regulations. Attorney Nathan Olin at Olin Lippiello LLP is one of the few Western Massachusetts lawyers who specializes in protecting worker rights, such as under the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law.
At Olin Lippiello LLP, we are proud to support Massachusetts workers. Thanks to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, many people are now healthier, more productive, and better employees.