Question of the Month: Which states have laws or are considering legislation requiring employers to provide paid leave?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Employee Benefits Survey,” 76 percent of the nation’s part-time private-sector workers and 26 percent of full-time employees had no access to paid sick days in 2014. In the Midwest, 43 percent of all full- and part-time workers do not have paid sick leave — the highest percentage of any U.S. region.
In 2012, Connecticut became the first state to mandate paid sick leave. Under its law, which applies only to non-exempt workers in certain service occupations, employers with 50 or more employees must provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave per 40 hours worked (after an initial 680 hours of employment), with a maximum accrual of 40 hours per year. California and Massachusetts are the other two states with laws requiring paid sick leave. Their laws take effect July 1 and require an initial 90-day employment period before accrued sick leave can be used.
California’s law applies to all employers: With some exceptions, any employee who works 30 or more days within a year of commencing employment is entitled to accrue paid sick leave at a minimum of one hour for every 30 hours worked. In Massachusetts, employers having 11 or more employees must allow workers to earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. The employees of small companies can earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave annually. All three of these state laws allow sick time to be used to care for a family member.
While no Midwestern state currently mandates that employers provide paid sick leave, bills have been introduced this year in at least five states: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota (see table).
To date, more than a dozen cities (none in the Midwest) have adopted local sick-leave ordinances. In February, Chicago voters overwhelmingly approved a nonbinding referendum to require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Eleven states — including Indiana, Kansas and Wisconsin — have laws banning municipalities from passing paid-sick-leave ordinances.

Stateline Midwest - April 20151.25 MB