For Immediate Release - April 27, 2015

AG Healey Files Regulations in Support of Law Providing One Million More Employees Access to Paid Sick Leave

Public Hearings and Listening Sessions Scheduled to Collect Feedback, Host Discussions

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today announced she has filed draft regulations to implement a new law that will provide nearly one million more employees in Massachusetts access to sick leave. The regulations support the Earned Sick Time law that was passed by voters in November and will take effect on July 1.

“Employees shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can afford to take a day off if they get sick or whether they might lose their job if their child needs to see a doctor,” AG Healey said. “These regulations lay out clearly the rights and responsibilities employers and employees have under the new law. The business community has been at the table throughout this process and we look forward to their continued engagement and ongoing dialogue with workers and community leaders about how to implement a law that will make Massachusetts a leader in providing earned sick leave to all workers.”

Nearly 1 in 3 workers in Massachusetts currently do not have access to earned sick time, the majority of them working in low-wage jobs. More than half of service industry workers did not have access to a single sick day. To date, only Connecticut currently has earned sick time.

The law states that employers with 11 or more workers must provide workers with up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave. Businesses with less than 11 employees must provide earned sick time but are not required to pay employees for time taken.

In addition, the draft regulations that were filed Friday with the Secretary of State’s Office, further explain the law by declaring that EST can be used for routine or emergency medical visits and travel time, if they or a family member are sick or to address issues of domestic violence. Under the regulations, employees begin to accrue sick time on the date of their hire and require employees to make a good faith effort to notify their employers of their intention to use sick time. The regulations would also protect seasonal workers by allowing them to carry unused time from season to season.

For more information, the public can view the regulations on the Attorney General’s website. Questions and requests for information can also be submitted at earnedsicktime@state.ma.us.

The AG’s Office expects to file final regulations with the Secretary of State this summer following a public comment period, which includes public listening sessions and hearings throughout the Commonwealth. Members of the public can submit comments to the Attorney General’s office until June 10 by emailing AGOregulations@state.ma.us. Comments at listening sessions are not considered part of the official record but are considered a more informal dialogue about the proposed regulations.

Comments can also be submitted in person at one of the following six public hearings and three listening sessions:

LISTENING SESSIONS

Brockton
May 8
10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Brockton Public Library
304 Main St.

Salem
May 11
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
City Hall Annex Building, 3rd Floor
120 Washington St.

Lowell
May 15
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lowell Federal Building
50 Kearney Square

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Boston
May 18
10:30 a.m.  – 1:30 p.m.
2nd Floor - Conference Rooms C & D
100 Cambridge St., Boston

MetroWest
May 22
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ablondi Room
Framingham Town Hall
Memorial Building
150 Concord St.

Springfield
May 29
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
3rd Floor Community Room
1350 Main St., Springfield

Berkshire County
May 29
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Pittsfield City Hall
Council Chambers
70 Allen St.

South Coast
June 1
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Hearing Room
1 Government Center, Fall River

Worcester
June 5
10 a.m. – 1p.m.
Main Library, Saxe Room
3 Salem St.

 

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