By: Katherine Muniz Feb 20, 2017

Overview of All U.S. State & City Sick Leave Laws

In 2012, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to require employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

Though limited in scope (only service workers are eligible for paid sick leave under Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law) the passing of this law inspired countless other cities and states to follow suit in creating progressive, robust, job-protected paid sick leave laws of their own.

For your interest, we have compiled a table of all the state and local paid sick leave laws that currently exist, to the best of our knowledge (we’re relying on your feedback to let us know if we’ve missed anything!).

In order to streamline this table as much as possible, we have refrained from discussing recordkeeping requirements, notice requirements, and what qualifies for leave. However, for details on these requirements, by each state we link out to a government page where you can find more information. 

CITY/STATE EMPLOYEES COVERED COVERAGE LIMITATIONS
California Under California’s Paid Sick Leave Law, effective July 1, 2015, employees are entitled to paid sick leave when they work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year in California, and satisfy a 90-day employment period before taking any sick leave. Employees, including part-time, full-time and temporary employees, will earn at least 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or 3 days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or 6 days.  Employers do not need to pay out accrued sick leave when an employee leaves the company. A few specific types of employees are not eligible to receive paid sick leave, including certain employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, certain individuals employed by air carriers, and employees of the California In-Home Supportive Services Program. 
Emeryville, California Under Emeryville’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, effective July 1, 2015, full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who perform at least two hours of work in a given workweek within Emeryville city limits are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees may use all sick time accrued per year and carry over all accrued and unused sick time subject to the annual cap. Small businesses (55 or fewer employees) may cap accrual of paid sick time at 48 hours per year and large businesses (56 or more employees) may cap accrual at 72 hours per year. 
Oakland, California Under Oakland’s Paid Sick Leave Law, effective March 2, 2015, all Oakland employers must provide paid sick leave to each employee (including full-time, part-time, and temporary employees) who performs at least two hours of work in a particular workweek within Oakland city limits. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Businesses that have less than 10 employees during any given week may cap accrual of paid sick time at 40 hours per year. Businesses with 10 employees or higher may cap accrual at 72 hours per year.  An employee’s accrued paid sick leave will carry over from year to year but is not paid out at the time of separation of employment. Employees may use their accrued paid sick leave for their own medical care or to aid or care for a family member or designated person.
San Diego, California  Under the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance, effective July 11, 2016, all employees doing work within the city’s boundaries are entitled to 5 days of paid sick leave.  Employers must provide an employee with one hour of earned sick leave for every thirty hours worked by the employee within the geographic boundaries of the City. Employees who start work after the effective date of the Ordinance begin to accrue on their starting date of employment.  Employers may limit use of earned sick leave until the employee’s 91st day of employment with the employer. Unused earned sick leave must be carried over to the following year.
San Francisco, California Under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, recently amended and operative January 1, 2017, full-time, part-time, and temporary employees within San Francisco city limits are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees begin accruing sick leave on the 1st day of employment. Employees can start using paid sick leave on the 90th day of employment. Accrued paid sick leave carries over from year to year.  Employers with 10 or more employees may cap accrual at 72 hours per years. Employers with less than 10 employees may cap accrual at 40 hours per year. Employers are required to comply with both the California Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act, and San Francisco’s local Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.
Connecticut Under Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law, effective January 1, 2012, non-exempt part-time and full-time service workers who work at employers with 50 or more employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Accrual is capped at 40 hours per calendar year. Under the current law, an employer must provide paid sick leave if it has employed fifty (50) or more employees in the state during any one quarter in the previous year, which is determined each year on January 1. (Sourced from HR Knowledge For a full list of applicable service occupations, see Connecticut’s Overview of the Paid Sick Leave Law. Exempt employers include manufacturers and nonprofits. Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked during whatever 365-day period the employer uses to calculate employee benefits. 
District of Columbia The District of Columbia’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008, effective May 13, 2008, entitles full-time, part-time, temporary and contract workers to paid sick leave. Employees begin accruing sick leave on their hire date, and may begin using it after 90 days. Employees who work for an employer with 100 or more employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked, capped at 7 days per year. Employees working for an employer with 25 to 99 employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked, capped at 5 days per year. Employees working for an employer with 24 or less employees will accrue 1 hour of paid leave for every 87 hours worked, capped at 3 days per year.

D.C.’s sick leave law excludes certain workers, such as independent contractors, students & health care workers who choose to participate in a premium pay program, or construction workers who are covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement that clearly waives the paid leave requirements.

Montgomery County, Maryland Montgomery County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law, effective October 1, 2016, mandates all businesses that employ five or more employees in the county to provide its workers with one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours that employee works. Covered employees are employees who work in the county more than eight hours each week. However, seasonal workers as well as salespeople who are paid exclusively by sales commissions were exempted from the law and employers do not have to provide them with paid sick leave. (Sourced from Bethesda Magazine) All businesses must provide its workers with 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Businesses with five or more employees have to allow a maximum of 56 hours of earned paid sick leave annually; businesses with less than 5 have to allow a maximum of 32 hours in a year as well as 24 hours of unpaid sick leave.  An employee is allowed to use up to 80 hours of sick and safe leave in a year. Up to 56 hours can be carried over into the next year if it is not used by the employee, unless the employer awards the full amount of leave an employee would earn at the beginning of the year. 
Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irivngton, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton New Jersey  BloomfieldEast Orange, ElizabethIrvington, MontclairNewarkPassaicPaterson, and Trenton, New Jersey, passed paid sick laws entitling all private sector workers to paid sick leave. All private sector workers in these cities can earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. (Click each locale listed for information on operative dates.) Businesses that have 10 or more employees may cap accrual of paid sick time at 40 hours per year. Businesses that have 9 or less employees may cap accrual of paid sick time at 24 hours per year. Regardless of business size, direct service workers who are in contact with the public such as food-service workers and child or elder care workers accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.  Workers begin earning sick time as soon as they are hired (or on the law’s effective date) but will have to wait 90 calendar days until they are able to use the leave.
Jersey City, New Jersey Under Jersey City’s Earned Sick Time Ordinance, effective January 24, 2014, full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers in companies that employ 10 or more employees who work within the geographic limits of Jersey City, are entitled to either paid or unpaid sick leave. Freelancers or independent contractors are not eligible.  Businesses that have 10 or more employees may cap accrual of paid sick time at 5 paid sick days per year. Businesses that have fewer than 10 employees may cap accrual of unpaid sick time to 5 days per year. Employees will earn at least 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees can carry over their unused sick leave, but employers aren’t required to give more than five days annually.  The law doesn’t require employers to reimburse employees for unused time.
New Brunswick, New Jersey Under New Brunswick’s Paid Sick and Safe Time, effective January 6, 2016, workers in New Brunswick are entitled to paid sick leave.  Full-time employees of covered employers receive 1 hour for every 35 hours. Those employed by a business with 5-9 employees can accrue to 24 hours in a calendar year;  Employees employed by a business with 10 or more employees can accrue up to 40 hours in a year. Part-time employees accrue up to 24 hours in a calendar year, regardless of employer size.   Covered employers are businesses based in New Brunswick that have 5 or more full time equivalents (FTE) (Each 35 hours worked by “Part-Time” and “Full-Time” employees equals one FTE).
New York, New York Under New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law, effective April 1, 2014, employees working in New York City are entitled to earn up to 40 hours of paid or unpaid sick leave. Businesses with five or more employees must provide its workers with 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Businesses with less than 5 employees must provide unpaid leave at the same rate. Businesses with 1 or more domestic workers are entitled to 2 days of paid leave after working 80+ hours a calendar year and being been employed by the same employer for at least 1 year.  Accrual begins on the first day of employment. Sick leave can be used 120 days after the first day of employment. Qualified employees must work 80+ hours a calendar year. 
Oregon Under the Oregon Sick Time Law , effective January 1, 2016, employees are entitled to 40 hours of paid protected sick time per year. This does NOT include employees who receive paid sick time under federal law, independent contractors, a participant in a work training program administered under a state or federal assistance program, a participant in a work-study program, railroad workers exempt under the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and individuals employed by that individual’s parent, spouse, or child. Beginning January 1, 2016, all employers that employ at least 10 employees in Oregon (6 if the employer has operations in Portland) must provide up to 40 hours of paid protected sick time per year. Employers that employ fewer than 10 employees (6 if the employer has operations in Portland) must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid protected sick time. Employees accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked or 1-1/3 hours for every 40 hours worked.   Workers begin earning sick time as soon as they are hired but will have to wait 90 calendar days until they are able to use the leave. Employees may carry over unused sick time up to 40 hours a year. A covered employer is as any person or entity that employs one or more employees working anywhere in the state of Oregon.  This includes any employer located in the City of Portland but does not include the Federal Government.
Portland, Oregon Under Portland’s Protected Sick Time Ordinance, effective January 1, 2014, employees working in Portland are entitled to paid or unpaid sick leave.  Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrual is capped at 40 hours per calendar year. Employees working for an employer with six employees or more shall be provided paid leave; employees working for an employer with five or less employees shall provide employees with unpaid sick time.  Employee eligibility to use accrued leave commencing after the employee has been employed by the employer for 90 days and has worked 240 hours within the City. 
Seattle, Washington Under the Seattle Paid Sick Time and Safe Time Ordinance, effective September 1, 2012, full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who work within Seattle city limits are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees who occasionally work in Seattle are covered if they perform more than 240 hours of work in Seattle within a calendar year. Employees accrue PSST based on their employer’s tier size: Tier One and Two: Employees accrue at least one hour of PSST for every 40 hours worked. Tier Three: Employees accrue at least one hour of PSST for every 30 hours worked.  Tier size is determined by the employer’s number of FTEs, not the number of individual employees (see here for details). In general, employees can use accrued paid leave on the 180th calendar day after their date of hire. However, there is an exception for new Tier One and Tier Two employers (see here for details). The PSST Ordinance specifies that accrual and carry-over be based on the calendar year, which begins on January 1.
Spokane, Washington Under the Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, effective January 1, 2017, workers will earn paid time off for sick leave or for personal safety matters. Employees begin accruing sick and safe time the first day of employment at a rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, but the size of the business determines how much leave a worker is allowed to earn each year. Employers that employ 9 or fewer employees may cap sick leave at 24 hours per year. Employers that employ 10 or more employees may cap sick leave at 40 hours per year. Workers can carry over up to 24 hours of unused earned time to the previous year. The new ordinance applies to all employers in Spokane with employees who work more than 240 hours in a year. The ordinance does not apply to work-study students, independent contractors, or seasonal workers. Additionally, new businesses are exempted from the requirements of the ordinance for one year after receiving a business license from the City.
Tacoma, Washington  Under Tacoma’s Paid Leave Ordinance, effective February 1, 2016, all employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary) who work within the geographic boundaries of Tacoma are entitled to paid leave. All employees earn one hour for every 40 hours worked within Tacoma, up to 24 hours within a calendar year.  Employees may carry forward up to 24 hours of unused paid leave into the next year. Use of paid leave is limited to 40 hours in a calendar year. Employees may use paid leave 180 days after the start of employment.

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Katherine is a New York-based digital writer who joined Fingercheck in 2015. She promotes Fingercheck through the power of the written word. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies with a focus on Journalism. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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