On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters decisively approved a sick-leave ballot initiative. Under the measure known as Question 4, an employee will be entitled to sick time if the employee or a family member must attend routine medical appointments, care for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition, or address the effects of domestic violence.

Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees, including part-time and temporary employees, must provide their employees with one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, beginning on July 1, 2015. The earned paid sick time may be used starting on the 90th day after hire, and its use will be limited to 40 hours in a calendar year, although up to 40 hours of unused sick time can be carried over to the next year. Massachusetts employers with fewer than 11 employees must grant their employees up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time, subject to the same conditions.

The proposed law does not override employers’ obligations under any contract or benefit plan with more generous provisions. The Attorney General will prepare a notice regarding the right to earned sick time, which employers will be required to post in a conspicuous location and to provide to employees. Employers may not discriminate or retaliate against employees who exercise their rights.



If you have any questions about updating your leave policies and otherwise complying with the law, please contact a member of our Employment Law Practice.

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