July 1st, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Sick Time Law went into effect. Employees of all sizes will have to credit 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked to a maximum of 40 hours, unless they have a current sick pay plan in force that is equal to or better.    Employers with 10 or fewer employees, however, will not have to pay when an employee utlizes theis sick hours, while employers with 11 or more will have to compensate at their regular rate.


The best way to understand the problem this law has created is to give you an example with the following assumptions:

  • Company has 20 employees
  • All 20 employees have worked enough hours to earn 40 hours of sick pay
  • The company plan year is from July 1st of this year thru June 30th of next year
  • You are full-time employee at this company


Flash forward to the last couple weeks of June, 2016, the weather is great and you are sitting on 40 hours.  You have two choices:


  1. Call in sick 5 days during the last two weeks and get paid for all 5 days, remember your company has more then 10 employees.   July 1, 2016, you start earning your sick hours again receiving 1 hour for each 30 worked.
  2. Don’t call in the last two weeks and carry the 40 hours over into the next plan year.   July 1, 2016, you can’t earn any more sick hours since the maximum is 40 hours and if you were to quit, the company does not have to pay you for any unused sick hours.


Once employees understand how this law works, there are going to  being alot of under staffed companies the last couple weeks of the Sick Pay Plan year.   If you have any questions, send me an e-mail.


earned sick time