Monday, March 25, 2013

Federal Paid Sick Leave Reintroduced in House and Senate

On March 20, 2013 Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reintroduced legislation, the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286, S. 631), that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.  The legislation, as proposed, is incredibly generous.  Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours (seven days) annually;
  • Employees could take this leave to attend to their own or a family member’s illness, or use the paid time off for preventative care such as medical appointments; 
  • The bill provides leave for employees who are the victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Employers with 15 or more employees would be covered by the law.
  • Employees would be entitled to avail themselves of sick leave – which begins accruing from the first day of employment under the bill – after 60 days; 
  • Paid sick leave would carry over from year to year, but may not exceed 56 hours unless the employer permits additional accrual;
  • The Act would require medical certification if more than three consecutive days are taken off;
  • If an employee leaves his or her job and is rehired within 12 months, that employee would be entitled to the accrued leave already earned and would be entitled to take sick leave immediately
The first attempt at this type of legislation first occurred in 2004 and has been attempted a few times since but hopefully this time is the charm though I expect some of the above provisions to not survive.

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