Update on Earned Sick Time Regulations


Thanks to our friends at the Providers Council for this update- and all of their hard work- on Earned Sick Time Regulations.

For an overview of the proposed regulations regarding Earned Sick Time, please read the summary of the law. There is also a section for Frequently Asked Questions that will help get you caught up to these latest updates:

Public hearing audio being placed online:

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has been placing audio of recent public hearings on its website. At these links, you’ll find audio of the Boston public hearing, Framingham public hearing and Springfield public hearing. You can also skip directly to the part of the Boston public hearing where Providers’ Council President & CEO Michael Weekes delivers testimony.

Attorney General’s Office addressing issue of no doctor’s note for 24 consecutive hours:

The AGO has said they’ll be addressing the issue in the law where employees can be absent for up to 24 consecutive hours before presenting a doctor’s note.

A major concern with this, highlighted by Provider’s council and noted in their public testimony, was that part-time employees- who work as little as two or four hours per day- could miss 12 or six consecutive shifts before presenting said note. We suggested adding language to make this rule “or three consecutive shifts for which the employee is scheduled” as we believed three days was the intention of the law (stating 24 hours, which would be three full days of work).

Final public hearing:

The final public hearing in the Attorney General’s 25-day, 11-city tour takes place this Friday, June 5, in Worcester. The hearing takes place in the Worcester Public Library in the Saxe Room ) at 10 a.m. and will continue until 1 p.m. If you haven’t already submitted testimony in person, but wish to do so, this is your last opportunity.

Submitting written comments:

Written comments must be submitted to the AGO by Wednesday, June 10 at 5 p.m. for their consideration. Please send comments to agoregulations@state.ma.us and include a reference to “Earned Sick Time” in the subject line. Regulations may also be mailed to Assistant Attorney General Mike Firestone at the Attorney General’s Office.

Expected timeline:

During the Boston public hearing, the AGO mentioned that they plan to issue the final regulations on or around Friday, June 19. This would leave employers only seven business days – or 11 calendar days – to comply with the law if there is not a delay. There is no indication that the Attorney General’s Office is considering a delay, so they need to hear from organizations about how you would be affected by a January 1, 2016 implementation date.

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