Paid sick leave laws are slowly gaining acceptance in cities in the Northeast and on the West Coast. The laws have been enacted in seven cities and the state of Connecticut. Although there are variations among the laws, they generally require employers to give employees as much as five days of sick time, accrued at the rate of one hour for every 30 or 40 hours worked. Workers can also use the time to care for sick children or relatives.
Whether a company must provide sick days depends on their location. In Newark, N.J., all companies must offer sick time. In Connecticut, only those with 50 workers or more must comply.
WHERE THEY'VE BEEN APPROVED, WITH EFFECTIVE DATES
San Francisco — Feb. 5, 2007
Washington, D.C. — May 13, 2008
Connecticut — Jan. 1, 2012
Seattle — Sept. 1, 2012
Portland, Ore. — Jan. 1, 2014
Jersey City, N.J. — Jan. 24, 2014
New York City — April 1, 2014
Newark, N.J. — May 29, 2014
Campaigns are underway in a number of states and cities to get sick leave laws passed. Those that look most likely to succeed are in Massachusetts; Vermont; Chicago; Tacoma, Wash; and Eugene, Ore., says Ellen Bravo, director of Family Values at Work Consortium, a group supporting paid sick leave legislation.