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Massachusetts law about sick leave

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources about sick time in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

COVID-19

COVID-19 temporary emergency paid sick leave program.
Effective May 28, 2021, and until April 1, 2022, employers are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations, and then may apply for reimbursement from the state.

Best bet

Earned sick time, Mass. Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.
Includes summary of the paid sick time law, frequently asked questions, a sample policy and more. Earned sick time notice to employees here.

Massachusetts law

Up to 40 hours per year

MGL c.149, §§ 148C and 148D. Employees who work for employers having 11 or more employees may earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers may earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year. Employees earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work  All employees can earn sick time including part time, temporary and seasonal employees.

Massachusetts regulations

940 CMR 33,  Earned sick time

Selected case law

Mui v. Massachusetts Port Authority, 478 Mass. 710 (2018)
Accrued, unused sick time does not count as "wages" under the Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150, so sick time is not paid to employee upon termination.

CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Healey, 861 F. 3d 276 (2017)
The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, 45 USC § 351 (RUIA) preempts G. L. c. 149, §§ 148C(c)(2) as applied to interstate rail carriers that employ workers in Massachusetts.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Date published: October 1, 2021
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