Why Paid Sick Leave Is Being Used More

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Recently, paid sick leave has become a matter of discussion and there’s been a push to make sick leave mandatory, paid and unpaid. Specifically, paid sick leave has become an important issue because it offers many benefits for employers and employees.

Paid Sick Leave Benefits

Despite being sick many employees still come into the office which puts their coworkers at risk of getting sick. It also puts themselves at risk of becoming more rundown and not recovering as fast as they should. There are plenty of reasons employees come into work sick, such as not being able to afford a day off, not wanting to fall behind in work, not wanting to miss office events, or not wanting to look bad compared to other employees. Whatever the reason is, paid sick leave gives an incentive for employees to stay home when they’re sick. Though the incentive may not work 100 percent of the time it definitely helps to have the policy in place.

Paid Sick Leave Laws

While there are no federal laws mandating paid sick leave many states have passed laws requiring companies to offer it. Ten states plus Washington D.C. have passed laws requiring some employers to offer sick leave. The first state to pass a law was Connecticut in 2011. The other states that have passed laws are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Along with these states eighteen more have pending sick leave bills.

There are several similarities between the state laws that have been passed. For every specific amount of hours per week (commonly 30 or 40) employees are given an hour of paid sick leave. Using paid sick leave to care for a family member is allowed by every law, and most of the laws allow for its use in the instance of domestic or sexual violence. The variations between the laws deal with which employees are eligible and when, and the documentation needed to prove the employee used leave appropriately.

Implementing Paid Sick Leave

If you’re one of the eighteen states that have pending laws you should be prepared to make changes if it’s passed. There are a few steps you can take in order to do so.

  • Make sure to look over the policies and make sure you know what changes you need to make if your current law isn’t compliant.
  • Decide whether you’re going to bundle vacation, personal, and sick leave together and, if you are, decide which employee groups, such as a bundle for full-time employees and hour-by-hour accumulation for part-time employees.
  • Establish whether minimal requirements are met by your usage terms, accrual, coverage, carry-over, and any vesting rules.
  • Read the law and see if it mandates a written policy, poster, or notice on employee’s paystubs of time accumulated.
  • Finally, make sure you handbook is updated and distributed to employees.

The best way to stay compliant with paid sick leave laws is by using an integrated HCM software. This way your payroll and HR date is connected. For any help or questions about being compliant with paid sick leave laws give us a call!