Massachusetts: New Earned Sick Time Posting

Beginning July 1, 2015, workplaces in Massachusetts must display the new Earned Sick Time notice, which informs employees about their right to earn and to take sick leave.

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Feel a summer cold coming on?

Whether you’re waiting tables at Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, selling tarot decks in Salem, or running a lobstering tour in Gloucester, you’re due for some sick time, and your workplace needs to hang up another labor law poster.

According to GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq., the regulations accompanying the law require all employers to post a notice of the law.

“This posting has just been released, and all employers in Massachusetts are required to post this notice in a conspicuous place.”

Voters in Massachusetts approved the Earned Sick Time law November 2014.

Massachusetts Workplace Compliance Posters

Subscribers to the GovDocs Labor Law News can save an additional 20% on their compliance purchases. Use coupon code BLOG20 at check out.

The GovDocs Massachusetts Compliance Posting Package includes postings required for Massachusetts businesses:

  • Earned Sick Time
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Minimum Fair Wage Law
  • Fair Employment Law
  • Child Labor Law
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Maternity Leave Fact Sheet
  • Parental Leave Fact Sheet
  • No Smoking Poster

What is the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law?

All employees in Massachusetts begin earning sick time on their first day of work and may begin using earned sick time 90 days after starting work – and that includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees.

If an employer has 11 or more employees, sick time must be paid. For employers with 10 or fewer employees, sick time may be unpaid.

Employees earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work, and they can earn and use up to 40 hours per year. Up to 40 hours of unused sick time can carry over for each worker annually. The smallest amount of sick time an employee can take is one hour.

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McDonald’s Minimum Wage

McDonald’s Employees’ Happy Meals Just Got Happier with Minimum Wage Boost for Corporate-Owned Locations.

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90,000 Mickey D crew members will be “loving it” even more beginning July 1, 2015, when McDonald’s corporate-owned restaurants serve up pay increases amounting to one dollar per hour more than local minimum wage rates.

McDonald’s workers at corporate-owned restaurants in California, for example, would earn $10 per hour, which is a dollar more than the California state minimum wage of $9.00 per hour.

(Hopefully McDonald’s Corporate HR will download the GovDocs 2015 Minimum Wage Report to help them track minimum wage rates.)

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McDonald’s anticipates that by 2016 the average hourly wage rate for McDonald’s employees at company-owned restaurants will exceed $10. Currently, the median pay rate for McDonald’s food preparers and cashiers is $8.13 per hour.

The company operates only 10 percent of the McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. Franchisees operate the remaining 3,100 restaurants, which means 640,000 McDonald’s crew members are wishing they worked at a corporate-owned restaurant.

The move caught some franchisees off-guard, and they may follow the McDonald’s corporate example and cough up wage increases.

McDonald’s Wage and Benefits

Minimum wage isn’t the only super-sizing McDonald’s employees at corporate-owned restaurants will experience. The company also announced paid time off for both full-time and part-time workers. After one year of service, employees will accrue paid time off and be compensated for any unused portion of that time.

Additionally the company is developing a tuition assistance program available to all employees at both company-owned and franchised restaurants.

McDonald’s joins a growing list of employers including Target and Walmart who are voluntarily increasing wage and benefits. See a list of other employers who have voluntarily increased their minimum wages.

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California Employees Win Paid Sick Leave

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB No. 1522) giving employees three days of paid sick leave. The law, which amends the California Labor Code, will allow approximately 6.5 million eligible workers in California to accrue paid sick days at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. It covers both public and private employers, but some types of employees are excluded (see Exclusions below).

California is the second state in the U.S. to pass a paid sick leave law. Connecticut was the first in 2011.

What Employers Need to Know about California’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Eligibility: Beginning July 1, 2015, employees must work for at least 30 days within a year from the commencement of employment. The law applies to both employees who are exempted from overtime pay laws as well as those eligible for overtime pay.

Eligibility Exclusions

The law excludes certain California workers from eligibility for paid sick leave:

  • Employees covered by valid collective bargaining agreements with existing paid sick days, paid leave, or paid time off policies that permit the use of sick days.
  • Certain employees in the construction industry.
  • Providers of in-home supportive services.
  • Air carrier flight deck or cabin crew members who are subject to the provisions of Title II of the federal Railway Labor Act.

Sick Leave Usage

  • Employees can use accrued sick days beginning the ninetieth day of employment.
  • An employer may lend paid sick days to an employee in advance of accrual.
  • The requested paid sick leave may be used in the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for:
    • The Employee
    • Children (biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, or legal ward)
    • Parents (biological, adoptive, foster, stepparent, or legal guardian of the employee or employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner)
    • Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner
    • Grandparents
    • Grandchildren
    • Siblings

Limits of Accrual

  • Accrual of paid sick days is capped to 24 hours (or the eight-hour days) in each year of employment.
  • Employees may carry over accrued sick leave time into subsequent calendar years; however, the total amount an employee may accrue remains 24 hours.
  • Employers do not have to pay out accrued sick leave to employees upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

Retaliation: Discriminating or retaliating against employees who request paid sick days is unlawful.

California Employer Notice and Posting Requirements

Employers are required to display the new California Paid Sick Leave Act posting in each workplace. Failure to display the posting are subject to a fine of $100 per offense.

Employers also need to provide employees written notice regarding the paid sick leave balance on each employee’s itemized wage statement or separately on the designated pay date with the employee’s payment of wages.

Save 20% now on the new California Healthy Families Act posting and other postings required for California employers, which are part of the GovDocs California Posting Packages:

  • Notice to Employees – Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Paid Family Leave
  • Safety & Health Protection on the Job
  • Discrimination and Harassment are Prohibited by Law
  • Pay Day Notice
  • Access to Medical Records
  • Time Off for Voting
  • Minimum Wage
  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • No Smoking Except In Designated Areas
  • No Smoking
  • Notice A, Pregnancy Disability Leave
  • Notice B, Family Care and Medical Leave
  • Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
  • Notice to Employees – Injuries Caused by Work
  • IWC Wage Order (multiple industries)
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Save 20% on all Federal, California State Labor Law Posters, and California City Labor Law Posters at the GovDocs Labor Law Poster Store with Coupon Code 2015MIN.
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