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Voters in Four Jurisdictions Pass Sick Leave Ballot Initiatives

The national sick leave trend continues to gain momentum as voters in Massachusetts, Trenton and Montclair, New Jersey, and Oakland, California approved ballot initiatives requiring employers within each jurisdiction to provide sick leave to their employees.  Similar laws already have taken effect in several jurisdictions across the country, including the States of Connecticut and California, and localities such as New York City, Jersey City, Newark, D.C., Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees must provide up to forty hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. The full text of the Massachusetts ballot question is available here.

Oakland, California voters approved a local ordinance providing more generous sick leave benefits than California’s state-wide sick leave law. Oakland employers with 10 or more employees must provide up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave. The full text of the Oakland ballot question is available here

In New Jersey, Trenton and Montclair employers with 10 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.  Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave, subject to certain exceptions. The New Jersey legislature also is considering a sick leave bill that, if passed in its current form, would not preempt the growing patchwork of local laws passed in the state.

Employers in these jurisdictions should familiarize themselves with the law in their respective locations, as each law contains its own intricacies, and prepare for compliance with the requirements therein.

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

Katharine H Parker, Labor Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Partner

Katharine Parker is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Law Counseling & Training and Government Regulatory Compliance and Relations Groups.

212-969-3009
Allison Lynn Martin, Proskauer Rose Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Associate

Allison Martin is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the Newark office.

973-274-6065