Earned Sick Time for Massachusetts’ Employees

Beginning on July 1, 2015, employees who work for employers having eleven or more employees will be eligible to earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers could earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.


Employees will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employees could begin to use their earned sick time on the 90th day after hire. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year, but may not use more than 40 hours in a calendar year. Employers do not have to pay employees for unused sick time at the end of their employment.


An employee may use earned sick time towards caring for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s immediate family; to attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s immediate family; and to address the affects of domestic violence. If an employee misses work for one of those aforementioned reasons, but agrees with the employer to work the same number of hours or shifts in the same or next pay period, the employee would not have to use earned sick time for the missed time and the employer would not have to pay for that missed time.  Employers would be prohibited from requiring such an employee to work additional hours to make up for missed time, or to find a replacement employee.


The Attorney general will enforce the law in the same manner as other state wage laws, and employees may file suits in court to enforce their earned sick time rights.



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