Time for a Check-Up: 5 More Sick Leave Laws Await Employers on July 1, 2017

There’s been no shortage of paid sick leave laws at the state and local level over the last few years. We have covered this growing patchwork of laws and the challenges they present for employers since this trend emerged a couple years back.

The latest round of sick leave laws to take effect did not go unchallenged. In fact, the new laws discussed in this post have already faced opposition in three forms: (1) a legal challenge in court; (2) a spate of defecting municipalities opting out of a county ordinance; and (3) a state-level preemption bill aimed at blocking local sick leave laws.

For now, it appears that each of these efforts has failed, and on July 1, 2017, five paid sick leave laws take effect. Out West, Arizona will become the sixth state to enact a paid sick leave law.  And in the Midwest, Chicago and Cook County, IL (where Chicago is located) and Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN will each see their paid sick leave laws take effect.  Below is an overview of these soon-to-be laws.

While these five laws will certainly provide plenty for employers to think about between now and July, the wave of sick leave laws shows no signs of receding; currently, there’s talk of legislation in Michigan, Maine, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Maryland.Arizona

In November 2016, Arizonans passed Proposition 206, which establishes new requirements regarding (1) paid sick time accrual, (2) permissible uses of paid sick time, (3) how to handle unused paid sick time, and (4) notice to employees regarding paid sick time.

Under the new law, employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick time per 30 hours worked. Employers with 15 or more employees must allow employees to accrue and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year; that number goes down to 24 hours per year for employers with fewer than 15 employees.

On March 14, 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously rejected a legal challenge to Proposition 206. Not long after this decision, on May 5, 2017, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (the state’s labor enforcement agency) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the new law.  Although they aren’t final, the proposed rules address several important topics, including year-end carryover obligations, notice and posting requirements, recordkeeping, and payment of sick time.  The public has until June 5, 2017 to submit comments on the draft rules.

Chicago and Cook County, IL

Chicago’s sick leave ordinance covers all employers that maintain a business facility within city limits or are subject to one or more of the city’s licensing requirements.

Under the new law, employees may accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave over the course of a year, at a rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Employees will also have the ability to carry over half of their unused paid sick leave across years.

Cook County (where Chicago is located) will be the largest county nationwide to mandate paid sick leave, with an estimated 441,000 employees affected by the new law.

Cook County’s ordinance largely follows that of the City of Chicago, allowing employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked and accrue a maximum of 40 hours per year.

If compliance weren’t complicated enough already, several municipalities within Cook County have decided to opt out of the county’s ordinance. According to one report, these include: Barrington, Bedford Park, Mount Prospect, Rosemont, Tinley Park and Oak Forest.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN

The Minneapolis sick leave ordinance requires employers with at least six employees to provide paid sick and safe time leave to employees who work in the city.  Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours of sick leave per year.  The Saint Paul sick leave ordinance is similar, but has no minimum size requirement and thus applied to all Saint Paul employers.

The Minnesota legislature introduced a preemption bill that would prevent local governments from adopting wage and sick leave ordinances. Several states including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana already have statewide preemption laws on the books.  Minnesota’s preemption bill passed the state house in March 2017 and the senate in April 2017.  According to a recent statement, however, Governor Mark Dayton says he plans to veto a preemption bill if it comes across his desk.