Washington, D.C. has just passed a law requiring most companies to give employees paid time off for illness. Other states, as well as the feds, are considering similar bills.
D.C.’s law goes into effect on November 13 of this year and guarantees time off for physical and mental illness, to care for a sick family member and to deal with issues of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Companies must provide:
- One hour of leave for every 37 hours worked, up to seven days a year (for companies with 100 or more employees)
- One hour for every 43 hours worked, up to five days a year (25 to 99 employees), or
- One hour for every 87 hours worked, up to three days a year (fewer than 24 employees).
Employees need to work for 12 months before becoming eligible for leave. The law does not apply to independent contractors and workers who make most of their money through tips.
San Francisco passed a similar bill last year, and a few states (Connecticut and Ohio, for example) are considering making sick leave mandatory.
On the federal side, Congress has kicked around the Healthy Families Act for a few years, but has yet to vote on it. Experts say the issue should come to the forefront soon, especially if the Democrats win the presidential election. We’ll keep you posted.