Massachusetts Sick Leave laws & compensation compliance analysis

Massachusetts Sick Leave: What you need to know

Effective July 1, 2015, all covered employers must provide sick time for eligible employees.
For employers with more than 11 employees, up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year must be allowed to accrue for all employees, including those who work part-time.
For employers with 11 or fewer employees, the earned sick time (EST) may be unpaid.
Employers must provide a minimum of 1 hour of EST for every 30 hours worked by an employee. All of an employer’s employees must be counted to determine employer size, including all employees working outside Massachusetts. The employer has 11 employees if 11 employees have been maintained on the payroll during 20 or more weeks (whether consecutive or not) over the current or preceding calendar year or 16 consecutive weeks over the current or preceding calendar year. All employers in Massachusetts must provide EST except for the federal government and cities and towns. Cities and towns can choose to opt in to the law. For those who do, their employees would then be covered by the law.
A “year” is any consecutive 12-month period of time, as determined by the employer. Most employers will find it helpful to use the year that the employer uses for determining wages and benefits, including, for example, a year that runs from January 1 to December 31, the tax year, fiscal year, contract year, or year running from an employee’s anniversary date of employment. “Calendar year” is used interchangeably with “benefit year” for the purposes of the EST law.
Exempt employees are assumed to work 40 hours in each workweek for purposes of EST accrual, unless their normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case EST will accrue based on that normal workweek.
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Massachusetts Sick Leave Resources

Type Title
Forms Paid Time Off (PTO)
White Papers Working While Sick: Not Smart
See all Sick Leave Resources