Compliance Corner: Paid Sick Leave

Compliance Corner: Paid Sick Leave

States, counties and cities across the United States are implementing paid sick leave laws, adding to the complicated compliance landscape faced by employers.

These laws impact employers with full-time or part-time employees. Employers should review their sick leave policies and have plans in place to implement new policies to ensure compliance. Organizations with a contingent workforce should also reach out to their staffing vendors to inquire if they are following the appropriate regulations.

The city of Chicago’s paid sick leave law took effect July 1. The law applies to most workers who perform at least 80 hours of work within a 120-day period inside the city of Chicago. For every 40 hours of work, employees must earn one hour of sick time, and they must be able to accrue up to 40 hours of sick leave per year. After one year, the law requires employers to allow employees to carry over at least half of their accrued sick leave.

Washington state’s paid sick leave law takes effect January 1, 2018. It is similar to Chicago’s law in that employees must earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, but Washington’s law allows employees to carry over anything less than 40 hours of accrued sick leave every year.

Currently, various states require employers to provide paid sick leave. However, for employers across the country, the compliance picture isn’t as simple as just following state law. In addition to Chicago’s paid sick leave law, other cities like New Brunswick, New Jersey and New York City have implemented their own laws, and counties like Montgomery County, Maryland have also followed suit.

While the paid sick leave legislation across these locations is all similar, an employer cannot have a one-size-fits-all policy. Some laws require one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked while others accrue for every 40 hours worked. Further complicating the issue, the requirement for roll-over requirements can also vary.

While some states have pushed back against paid sick leave legislation, it is growing in popularity. Employers need to be prepared to deal with the changing patchwork of laws.

Compliance Corner is a new feature on the PeopleScout blog. At least once a month, we’ll be featuring a compliance issue that’s in the news or on our minds. Understanding the patchwork of labor laws across the world is complicated, but it’s part of what we do best. If you have questions on the compliance issue discussed in this post, please reach out to your PeopleScout account team or contact us at

Post by Nicole Fuqua