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SB 481 Employees; earned sick leave, civil penalties.

Introduced by: Barbara A. Favola | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Earned paid sick time. Requires public and private employers with 15 or more employees to provide those employees with earned paid sick time; however, the provisions of the bill would not apply to an employer that has entered into a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. The measure provides for an employee to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave benefit for every 30 hours worked. An employee shall not use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. Employees shall not be entitled to use accrued earned paid sick time until the ninetieth calendar day following commencement of their employment, unless otherwise permitted by the employer. The bill provides that earned paid sick time may be used (i) for an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care; (ii) to provide care to a family member under similar circumstances; (iii) when there is a closure of the employee's place of business or the employee's child's school or place of care due to a public health emergency; or (iv) when an employee's or employee's family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease. The bill prohibits employers from taking certain retaliatory actions against employees related to leave and authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, in the case of a knowing violation, to subject an employer to a civil penalty not to exceed $150 for the first violation, $300 for the second violation, and $500 for each successive violation, if the second or successive violation occurs within two years of the previous violation. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry may institute proceedings on behalf of an employee to enforce compliance with this measure and to collect specified amounts from the employer, which shall be awarded to the employee. Alternatively, an aggrieved employee is authorized to bring a civil action against the employer in which he may recover double the amount of any unpaid earned sick time and the amount of any actual damages suffered as the result of the employer's violation. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021, and incorporates SB 1069.