The Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148C), approved by a statewide ballot question last fall, goes into effect July 1, 2015. As of July 1, 2015, all employers must comply with the statute. Applicable regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Attorney General have also been issued.

Importantly, all employers operating in Massachusetts are subject to the law and all employees whose “primary place of work” is in Massachusetts are eligible for benefits. The new law generally calls for accrual of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked for a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per year.

Employers with 11 or more employees must provide paid leave. Employers with fewer than 11 employees are obligated to provide unpaid leave.

Employers need to pay close attention to this new law, as even employers who have generous sick time or paid time off (“PTO”) policies may find themselves not in compliance. The law has strict provisions regarding the rate of accrual, the rollover of time, qualifying circumstances, and increments of use. Additionally, employers must comply with the law’s notice and record keeping requirements.

An immediate priority for covered Massachusetts employers is to decide whether they will come into full compliance with the law immediately or take advantage of the law’s safe harbor provision for the remainder of 2015. Additionally, employers should post the notice required by the Attorney General’s Office as of July 1, 2015.

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Photo of Jack Gearan Jack Gearan

Jack S. Gearan is a shareholder in the Boston office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Labor & Employment and Litigation, where he defends companies and public institutions in labor and employment, business, and consumer actions, including

Jack S. Gearan is a shareholder in the Boston office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Labor & Employment and Litigation, where he defends companies and public institutions in labor and employment, business, and consumer actions, including class and collective actions. He is experienced in complex employment litigation and trials, and frequently handles state and federal whistleblower claims, non-compete and restrictive covenant litigation, trade secret, wage and hour litigation, and individual employee discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation and arbitrations. Jack also focuses his practice on handling pharmaceutical and medical device products liability cases.

Jack’s business litigation practice covers a variety of business torts, including misrepresentation, fraud, contract disputes, and claims under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A – the Massachusetts unfair trade practices statute

In addition to defending clients in litigation when necessary, Jack provides counsel to senior management and human resource personnel on various employment law compliance matters, such as leaves of absence, exempt status classification under the FLSA and state law, employee discipline and restrictive covenant agreements. Jack is also regularly called upon by clients to conduct outside independent investigations of sensitive personnel issues or threatened legal actions. Additionally, Jack has advised companies regarding employment law in connection with various corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, and reductions in force.

Photo of Justin Keith Justin Keith

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including litigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, reductions in force, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

He is experienced…

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including litigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, reductions in force, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

He is experienced with wage and hour class actions brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act and nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He represents employers across a broad spectrum of industries, including retail, transportation, delivery services, and telecom services in nationwide class and collective actions brought throughout the country.

Justin regularly provides counsel to senior management and human resource personnel on employment law compliance matters, such as reductions in force, leaves of absence, exempt status classification under the FLSA and state law, employee discipline, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and restrictive covenant agreements.

Justin is a contributing editor of The Developing Labor Law, the leading treatise on U.S. labor law, and a frequent speaker to legal and industry groups on labor and employment issues.

Justin’s practice encompasses all areas of traditional labor law, including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice charges and representation case proceedings before the NLRB, union avoidance strategy and training, strike response and contingency planning, grievance arbitration proceedings, and appellate litigation before the NLRB and the Courts of Appeals. Justin was co-counsel to New Process Steel in the landmark Supreme Court case, New Process Steel v. NLRB, 560 U.S. 674 (2010).

Photo of Terry McCourt Terry McCourt

Terence P. McCourt is Co-Managing Shareholder of the Boston office and Chairman of its Labor & Employment Practice. He also co-chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group. He represents a broad range of organizations in all facets of management-side labor

Terence P. McCourt is Co-Managing Shareholder of the Boston office and Chairman of its Labor & Employment Practice. He also co-chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group. He represents a broad range of organizations in all facets of management-side labor and employment law. During more than two decades of practice, Terry has gained a national reputation for his practical, strategic approach to employment law issues.

With wide-ranging litigation experience, Terry handles diverse employment matters, including employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases in state and federal courts, wage and hour compliance, labor arbitration cases, non-competition cases, internal corporate investigations, and National Labor Relations Board proceedings. He also counsels employers concerning day-to-day human resources issues as well as myriad legal requirements in the workplace, particularly related to significant operational changes such as mergers, acquisitions, business relocations or reductions in force.

Terry has wide-ranging governmental experience as the former Deputy Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor of Massachusetts and General Counsel to the Massachusetts Secretary of Labor.