Election Day is around the corner, and if you’re like me you have grown weary of the constant media bombardment touting or disparaging candidates and referendum questions alike. In Massachusetts, we have heard the elimination of gas tax indexing, expanding the beverage container deposit law and expanding the prohibition on casinos.
Interestingly, there is a fourth question that has received little time on the airwaves. However, if it passes, it is the one referendum question that will affect most business owners beginning on July 1, 2015. And if the Boston Globe survey of voters taken between October 19-21 is to be believed, it will pass. 53% of likely voters approve (while 35% disapprove and 12% are yet to make up their minds) that workers in Massachusetts should be entitled to earned sick time.
Question 4 reads as follows: “Do you approve of a law summarized below, on which a no vote was taken by the Senate or the House of Representatives on or before May 6, 2014?” Highlights are as follows:
• Employees who work for employers having 11 or more workers could earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.
• Those working for smaller companies could earn the same amount of time off, but it would be unpaid.
• Employees could use earned sick time:
o To care for a physical or mental illness or medical condition affecting the employee, their child, spouse, parent or spouse’s parent.
o Attend routine medical appointments for those listed above.
o Address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or their domestic child.
• Employees earn one hour of sick time for every thirty hours worked on date of hire, or on July 1, 2015, whichever is later.
• Earned paid sick time would be compensated at the same hourly rate when sick time is used.
• Affects public and private employers.
• 40 hours of carryover is allowed, but employees could not use more than 40 hours in a calendar year.
Other requirements of the bill are worth reviewing in the above-referenced summary. And of course, the only poll that matters is the one to be taken on Election Day. But if this referendum becomes law, anyone who owns a business in Massachusetts should be ready for implementation next year.
For more information on how your business will be affected by the November elections, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.