Massachusetts sick time law goes into effect

Unused earned sick time rolls over

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As of Wednesday, you’ll now begin earning paid time off to use if you or a loved one gets sick.

The voter-approved law allows employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in a year, accruing one hour for every 30 hours they work. It’s expected to cover up to one million workers not currently entitled to paid sick days.

Unused earned sick time rolls over at the end of each year.

Jeff Ciuffreda, Executive Director of the Affiliated Chamber of commerce of Greater Springfield, told 22News a lot of businesses opposed this because they have to implement new payroll software, and the system gets tricky with part time and seasonal workers. He said employers agree a healthier workforce is ideal, but many had already created their own flexible arrangements. “This is one size fits all, government mandated. I think that’s really the problem: it paints business as they weren’t treating their employees well, whereas a lot of businesses working together found other ways to deal with it.”

Employers who already offered earned sick time have an extension until the end of the year to implement the specific parts of the new law.

Ciuffreda said Attorney General Maura Healy has been really cooperative in working to help businesses understand it.

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