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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 temporary emergency paid sick leave program.
Effective Friday, May 28, 2021, and until September 30, 2021, 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 law, frequently asked questions, a sample policy and more.

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.

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.

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.



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Date published: June 7, 2021