Rhode Island has recently followed Connecticut in mandating paid sick time, and now bills pending in Massachusetts and Vermont may spread the requirement through New England.  New York and the District of Columbia, as well as a number of cities, have also recently adopted similar requirements, and paid sick leave bills are pending, or campaigns to require them are under way, in 18 other states.

The Massachusetts bill, “An Act Establishing Earned Paid Sick Time” (S. 900/H. 1739), would mandate three tiers of mandatory sick leave, which in all cases would accrue at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.  Very small businesses could provide the leave on an unpaid basis but most will have to provide paid time of up to 56 hours per year.  Sick time can be taken for typical FMLA-like situations and also “to address the psychological, physical or legal effects of domestic violence.”

Vermont’s bill, H. 208, similarly requires accrual of one hour of sick time for every thirty hours worked, with a 56-hour-per-year maximum accrual.  The bill is more generous than Massachusetts in imposing the requirement on all employers.

Read more about the pending bills here.