Massachusetts law about sick leave

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

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

COVID-19

COVID-19 temporary emergency paid sick leave program
This program ended March 15, 2022. No further applications will be accepted.

Best bet

Earned sick time, Mass. Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.
Includes summary of the paid sick time law, sample policy and forms, and more. Includes Frequently Asked Questions regarding employer’s carryover obligations, accrual, and use.

Earned sick time notice to employees

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 may 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
Includes more information about accrual, when and how to notify your employer, required documentation or doctors’ notes, retaliation, and more.

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, MGL c.149, §§ 148 and 150, so accrued sick time is not paid to employee upon termination of their job.

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

Web sources

Massachusetts workers can earn sick time!, MassLegalHelp, 2022.
Overview of sick time law in Massachusetts, including when you can use sick time and disputes with an employer regarding sick leave policy.

Print sources

Labor and employment in Massachusetts, LexisNexis, Section 2-2[j]: MASSACHUSETTS SICK LEAVE LAW COVERS PART-TIME,TEMPORARY, AND FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES.

What to do about personnel problems In Massachusetts, BLR, S59-S68.3 Sick Leave.

Contact

Last updated: November 2, 2022
Feedback