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The Evolving Paid Sick Leave Patchwork: 2016 Update

Another year, more PSL patches. With nearly 30 patches now, and contributions from every level of government, PSL has achieved full-fledged patchwork status.

This year’s PSL highlights include:

  • Oregon becomes the fourth state with PSL, joining CA, CT and MA.

  • Montgomery County, MD becomes the first county to enact a PSL law. With more than 3,000 counties in the United States, this level of government has the potential to make a significant patchwork contribution.

  • Two more New Jersey cities—New Brunswick and Elizabeth—pass PSL ordinances, bringing the total to 11 Garden State PSL cities. The New Jersey Senate has passed a PSL bill which would preempt future municipal PSL ordinances only.

  • PSL remains an East Coast-West Coast phenomenon. The PSL laws west of the Mississippi are in CA, OR and WA. East of the Mississippi, PSL laws are in CT, D.C., MA, NJ, NYC, MD, Philadephia (see note below) and Puerto Rico.

  • Pittsburgh’s hopes to be the first PSL city in the heartland were dashed when a judge ruled that the city did not have authority under Pennsylvania law to enact that requirement. A challenge to Philadelphia’s PSL law might be next.

  • San Diego voters will vote on PSL in a referendum in June. When given the opportunity, voters will approve PSL 100% of the time, I predict.

  • On Labor Day 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13706, which requires certain federal contractors to provide employees with up to seven days of PSL. The Secretary of Labor must issue regulations to implement the Order by September 30, 2016.

  • A growing number of large employers require contractors doing business with them to provide PSL to employees.

As we have noted repeatedly, the patchwork challenge has nothing to do with the social question of whether there should or should not be paid sick days. The practical challenge is the proliferation of leave and attendance laws and how they interact with each other. National and multi-jurisdiction employers are struggling to develop paid sick leave policies that meet all of the requirements of all of these laws.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 10
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About this Author

Michael Soltis, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Disability and Health Management Attorney
Office Managing Principal and Office Litigation Manager Stamford

Michael J. Soltis is Office Managing Principal and Litigation Manager of the Stamford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has represented employers in a wide range of employment and labor matters for more than 30 years.

Mr. Soltis has advised on and litigated matters involving just about every type of employment claim, including discrimination claims, family and medical leave claims, public policy and whistleblower claims, contract claims, and common law employment claims. He has litigated cases in state court and...

203-961-0404
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