As summer fades into memory and the weather turns cooler the leaves begin to change colors and the kids head off to school. Those are the welcome changes that come with cooler weather, not so welcome perhaps is the increased chance of catching the sniffles and getting sick. Worse even, is that more and more often your employees begin calling in requesting earned sick time to nurse themselves back to health. Massachusetts has had a pretty robust Earned Sick Time Law in place for a number of years, it has a poster requirement associated with it and is worth taking another look at.
Employers that maintained an average of 11 or more employees on its payroll during the preceding benefit year must offer paid sick leave. Those employers that maintained an average of less than 11 employees need only offer unpaid sick leave.
Employees in Massachusetts can earn sick time whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal workers. They earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours that they work. If they work enough hours they can earn up to 40 hours (one week) of sick time and they may roll over 40 hours of sick time per year. They begin earning sick time on their first day and may begin using them after 90 days.
Employees are required to notify their employers before they use sick time except in case of emergency and employers are allowed to impose a reasonable notification system for employees to put in their sick time. They are not allowed to ask for medical documentation for confirmation except in the case of an employee using 3 consecutive days of sick time within 2 weeks of leaving his or her job.
The Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enforce the Earned Sick Time Law and has released a notice that must be posted in a conspicuous area in the workplace. If you have questions, you can call the Fair Labor Division at 617-727-3465 or you can visit www.mass.gov/ago/earnedsicktime.