Labors laws at the federal, state and local level require meticulous workforce management to avoid legal consequences.


68% of US employees in private industry have access to paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 35% of part-time workers also have this access.

Companies that provide sick leave as a voluntary or mandated benefit must:

  • Track details such as eligibility, earned hours, hours available and sick leave taken
  • Prove compliance with all applicable laws on demand

As of February 2017, seven states and Washington DC have paid sick leave laws. In addition, several cities have their own laws. As a result, companies can be governed by multiple, overlapping laws. For example, a company in Seattle must comply with local Seattle law as well as Washington state law.

Here are some of the key elements of most paid sick leave laws:
Record Keeping Some jurisdictions explicitly define the number of years records must be kept and presume non-compliance if records are not produced.
Accrual Most but not all have 1 hour accrued for every 30 hours worked (exempt is set at 40/week)
Use Most start accrual at employment but do not allow usage for 90 days; also set max per year usage
Company Size Most have different rules for small and large but define the size differently
Company size calculation Some count only full time, some include part time and temporary, and they use different periods to measure
Front-loading Companies can front-load hours earned, which helps them avoid constant calculation
Carryover Most allow carryover but with max usage per year; some have max carryover
Comp Time Some allow employees to work alternate hours instead of using sick leave

All companies should:

  • Track hours closely to ensure employees are provided proper sick leave
  • Use scheduling to better manage last minute TORs and schedule swapping
  • Be prepared to conform to local, state and federal laws as they come into effect
  • Use timekeeping to conform to any local, state and federal laws already in effect

For more detail on specific state and Local laws, check out these sites. This is informational only and should not be considered legal advice. For specific details on the laws that affect you, consult your legal expert.

“Paid Sick Leave”, National Conference of State Legislators, Links to State Laws. (Feb 2017)