Repairs to State’s Paid Sick Leave Law Awaiting Action in House
A proposal providing flexibility and clarity to the state’s mandatory paid sick leave law—and receiving bipartisan support in both the Commerce and Labor committees—is awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
HB 5269, which originated in the Commerce Committee, improves the state’s paid sick leave law by:
Giving employers the flexibility to administer the law in a 365-day period other than a calendar year. (For example, many employers use a fiscal year for recordkeeping.) This will allow businesses to more efficiently track paid sick leave simultaneously with other employee benefits.
Making paid sick leave and FMLA employee reporting identical: Unlike FMLA, which has employers reporting their number of workers in a one-year period, the paid sick leave law requires businesses to report their number of employees over a three-month period. As a result, employers who’ve never had more than 49 employees at any given moment must include employees who left their job and were replaced within the same period—making them appear to have 50+ employees and be subject to the law.
There’s no evidence that a once-a-year reporting methodology, as found in FMLA, will result in employers attempting to skirt their obligations by terminating and rehiring employees before and after the reporting date.
Correcting an error that imposes the paid sick leave law on some manufacturers</strong> with multiple locations rather than excluding all manufacturers as intended.
One of the main reasons for the bill’s widespread bipartisan support is that HB 5269 protects the benefit itself—putting no one at risk of losing the benefit.
Yet opposition groups, including those that supported adoption of the paid sick leave, seem reluctant to make any changes to the mandate no matter how helpful or commonsense those modifications might be.
Legislators should follow the examples of the Labor and Commerce committees, and embrace any effort to make the law less burdensome for employers to comply with.
The General Assembly should act quickly to enact the fixes to the paid sick leave law found in HB 5269.
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