Over the past few years, states such as California and Maryland, and cities including San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland Oregon have mandated paid leaves or paid sick leaves for employers. And if you have less than 50 employees, as many financial planning practices do, you should not assume that you are exempt from these HR laws.
In the past, employers with fewer than 50 employees didn’t have to worry about state or city-specific paid and sick leave, because the primary legislation was the federal government’s Family and Medical Leave Act. Employers with fewer than 50 employees need to be aware, however, of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), covering employers with 15 or more employees, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployments Right Act (USERRA).
Now the landscape has changed dramatically. Some of these newer laws could require you to provide paid sick leave that:
- accrues and carries over from one year to the next
- allows an employee to use for family medical issues
- carries penalties if you discriminate or retaliate against an employee who requests leave
- requires you to include information about taking leave in your employee handbook, in a written notice to employees and/or in a workplace poster
- requires you to maintain records of amount of leave taken
The laws are so varied in content and overage that you should check your state, city and local municipality laws. They each may have leave policies that run concurrently with, provide additional leave or replace federal programs. Although you may not be covered by a federal program, you may be covered by a state program.
What To Do Next
If you have a business location or employees in California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Washington or New York, you should check if your state, city or municipality has enacted such laws.
If you have a business location or employees in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, or Washington D.C.; Eugene or Portland, Ore.; or Newark or Jersey City, N.J., you have some policies already enacted.
If you live outside these areas, check with your human resource professional and attorney to identify if there is legislation passed or upcoming.
This article is for informative purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Consult your experts, such as human resource consultant or attorney to be aware of federal, local and state regulations and exceptions.
Mary Dunlap, CFP®
Mary Dunlap Consulting