SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting tomorrow, you won’t have to worry about losing your job if you get sick, or have to care for a sick family member. The state’s new earned sick time law takes effect, and it’s been called the strongest sick time law in the nation.
Massachusetts workers will be able to accrue 40-hours of paid sick leave every year, earning one hour for every 30-hours worked. Starting July 1st, every single employee will get earned sick time. That includes part time, full time, and seasonal employees.
Paula Thouin of Easthampton told 22News, she hasn’t really heard anything about the details of the law. “I haven’t heard too much, I knew there was something coming up about it, but that’s really it,” she said.
Here’s what you need to do know: Unused earned sick time rolls over at the end of each year, and an employee can use the time off to take care of a sick family member. A benefit Springfield resident Matt Szafranski said will help thousands. “It makes a difference between them being able to make ends meet at the end of the month or not. They don’t have to choose between work and family and health with these new benefits,” he said.
Another benefit is one of the most unique, the smallest amount of time a worker is allowed to take off at once. Employees can take off as little as an hour, which might be helpful for parents. If their child was sick at school, and didn’t have a ride home, they could use an hour of their earned sick time to pick their child up, and bring them home.
Daniel Crittendon of Otis said he hasn’t paid too much attention to the details because he thought many of them were directed to part-time employees, who didn’t get sick time benefits before. “It’s interesting, but I’m a full time employee so it doesn’t apply to me as much,” he said.
A majority of the provisions apply to every employee in the state, part time, full time, and seasonal. Which means employees who already have earned sick time will likely see their benefits change.