7282049_sMassachusetts’ new sick leave law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.  In anticipation of the law, the Attorney General has posted the Earned Sick Time Notice of Employee Rights which must be posted by Massachusetts employers by July 1, 2015.

Under the law, employers with 11 or more employees must offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.  Employers with fewer than 11 employees must offer up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.  Sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 hour earned for every 30 hours worked.

The Attorney General recently published proposed regulations further explaining the law.  The public comment period for the proposed regulations ends today.  The regulations do offer some interpretations that are not readily apparent from reading the law itself.

For example, under the proposed regulations, an employee is eligible to earn leave if his or her primary place of employment is in Massachusetts.  This simply means that the employee works the majority of his or her time in Massachusetts.  This may or may not be 51% of the employee’s time depending on how many localities the employee works.  Once an employee is eligible, under the proposed regulations, he or she will earn sick time for all hours worked, not only those worked within Massachusetts.

At this point, it is hard to speculate whether the proposed regulations will be changed before final publication and employers should consult with legal counsel as the effective date of the law approaches to determine their obligations.