State laws

Massachusetts approves paid sick leave mandate

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Boston – Voters in Massachusetts have approved a measure that will provide paid sick leave for many more workers in the state.

Under the new law, workers at businesses with 11 or more employees may earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year, collecting one hour for every 30 hours worked. Smaller companies are exempt, as are businesses with more robust sick-leave policies.

Massachusetts becomes the third state to guarantee a minimum number of paid sick days, joining California and Connecticut. Several cities, including New York and Portland, OR, also have passed laws regarding paid sick leave.

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health Membership and Communications Coordinator Jeff Newton issued the following statement to Safety+Health magazine:

“Countless low-wage Massachusetts workers who never have had a paid sick day in their life, forced many times a year to pick between a paycheck or their health, are incredibly thankful for all those who voted with working families’ needs in mind. We are very proud that Massachusetts has joined the three states and 16 cities that have laws mandating paid sick days. This is the next big step in workers’ rights.”