Is paid Sick Time mandatory? Neither federal law nor any state law requires a private employer to provide employees with sick pay. The only exception currently is Connecticut, which starts a new madatory sick leave for Service Workers (please see the CT Dept of Labor website for details on who qualifies as a service worker- see here for required poster). For additional information, please see this post by CTEmploymentLawBlog post. There are a few additional local exceptions- see below
Required Unpaid Sick Leave: However, you may be required to provide employees unpaid time off, depending on your company’s size and location. Federal regulations require that employers with 50 or more employees need to grant time off per FMLA requirements. (See the link to the US Dept. of Labor website for more details http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/ ) In addition, some states provide either state-run health insurance or workers comp- funded pregnancy disability leave. (CA for example) Check with your individual state’s Department of Labor for details.
What local locations require paid Sick Leave? The District of Columbia requires paid sick leave, which an employee accrues based on an hours-worked formula. The accrual rate and maximum quantity differs by company size. See the website below for further details:
In addition to DC, some individual cities require employers to provide paid sick leave. San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Seattle are the best-known cities:
San Francisco: http://www.sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=419
What should I do? One way to prevent confusion about Sick Leave is to establish a formal policy in writing as part of your Employee Handbook. New Wind custom designs employee handbook for their clients, considering their size, industry, and location: