While President Obama’s recent push for a federal paid sick leave mandate for private-sector employees is unlikely to gain traction in the new Congress, employers still begin 2015 facing an intricate web of state and local sick leave laws that are apt to cause employers headaches and confusion.
As we have noted previously, sick leave laws have become more prevalent in recent months at both the state and local level. While one state, Wisconsin, has actually passed a state law prohibiting local entities such as counties and cities from enacting their own paid sick leave laws, this area has been otherwise largely dominated by local government involvement; and an employer with multiple locations within one state may have the burden of complying with varying sick leave requirements. For example, eight different municipalities in the state of New Jersey alone have passed their own sick leave laws. If the employer has operations in both Trenton and Jersey City, the employer must comply with the provisions of both ordinances, even though the minimum number of employees for applicability, minimum required hours of paid leave, notice requirements, recordkeeping requirements, when an employer may require documentation, and penalties for noncompliance may all differ. Trenton, for example, requires that employers with 10 or more full-time employees provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year, and that employers with fewer than 10 employees provide up to 24 hours of such paid leave. Jersey City, on the other hand, requires that employers with fewer than 10 private sector employees must provide up to five days of sick leave per year, but that time may be unpaid. Continue reading this entry