Do employers have to provide paid leave?
It depends. There is no federal law that requires employers to provide paid leave. However, many states, counties and cities have passed paid sick leave and/or paid family medical leave laws that require certain employers provide paid sick leave or paid family medical leave to their employees.
How many jurisdictions have a paid leave law?
As of August 2023, there are 69 paid leave laws across the country in some form – many jurisdictions have paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and paid parental leave laws — 2 federal laws, 33 state laws,5 county laws and 29 city ordinances.
How does the federal Family and Medical Leave Act work?
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, with continuation of group health insurance coverage. It applies to employers with 50 or more workers in a 75-mile radius. Is not a paid leave law, though some of its provisions are referenced in paid leave statues.
What’s the difference between paid sick leave and family and medical leave?
While they are similar, the primary difference between the two types of paid leave revolve around the reasons for use and the amount of pay for the leave.
Paid sick leave is typically taken for a short time (a few days) and taken for an employee’s or an employee’s family member’s physical illness, injury or health condition, including preventive care, domestic violence issues, among other reasons. Employees taking paid sick leave are generally paid their regular rate of pay for this time off.
Paid family and medical leave is generally taken for a longer time period (weeks vs days) and can be taken for the employee’s own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, baby bonding, among other reasons. Paid family and medical leave is often funded by payroll taxes from the employer and employees or through insurance programs. Employees taking paid family medical leave are generally paid under a complicated formula outlined in the paid family medical leave law of the jurisdiction.
We provide more paid sick leave than local laws. What happens then?
Generally, nothing. Most paid sick leave laws say employers that provide more paid leave than a statute dictates are exempt from the legislation.
What are some things to know about paid sick leave laws?
They’re all different. Accrual rates, frontloading provisions, the waiting period before use and other items vary across jurisdictions. The nuances of managing paid leave are generally more challenging than other types of employment law.
Do employees have to prove they were sick to use paid sick leave?
It depends. Some jurisdictions are more stringent in their requirements of employees regarding reporting, while others have paid leave laws that can be used for any reason, including Illinois, Nevada, Maine and Bernalillo County, N.M.