The Evolving Paid Sick Leave Patchwork
Montgomery County, MD and Oregon passed it. California had passed it, then amended it within days after its effective date. In Massachusetts, the Attorney General issued regulations to implement it, and a court said the National Labor Relations Act does not preempt it. North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey (and likely others) are considering it.
Employees in Minneapolis and Spokane, WA rallied to demand it. Michigan said no Michigan city can have it. A Michigan group is collecting signatures to have a state-wide referendum on it (it has never been defeated when voters vote on it).
The “it,” of course, is a paid sick leave law. Four states (CA, CT, MA, OR), the District of Columbia, one county (Montgomery, MD) and another 20 or so municipalities have enacted paid sick leave laws. While there is some consistency in the structure of all of these laws, each has its own unique components. National and multi-jurisdiction employers are struggling to develop a paid sick leave policy that meets all of the requirements of all of these laws.
In March 2013 I predicted a paid sick leave mega-trend. It was said then, “the patchwork challenge has nothing to do with the social question of whether there should or should not be paid sick days. The challenge is the proliferation of leave and attendance laws and how they interact with each other.” With only 4 of 50 states and a couple dozen of thousands of counties and municipalities having enacted such a law, we have only just begun.