All You Need To Know About Emergency Paid Sick Time In Massachusetts
If you feel sick or believe that you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, it is important that you stay home and avoid exposing others as well. But for this to happen, you’ll need cooperation from your employers, so you can miss work to look after yourself and loved ones.
Similarly, many Americans are forced to look after their children (since daycares are closed) or go to work fulltime.
Thanks to a new emergency sick time law, residents of Massachusetts can now do this without losing out on their salaries. It provides emergency paid sick time to employees who wouldn’t otherwise be entitled to any leaves under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
An Massachusetts employment lawyer can be your guide for understanding the complexity of the law and deal with your workplace issues, such as paid sick leaves, unfair treatment, and other matters.
Guide To The Emergency Paid Sick Time Bill In MA
Community groups, labor unions, and other activists in the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition proposed the bill. Later, it was submitted and filed as the Emergency Paid Sick Time for Massachusetts personnel in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What It Covers?
The Emergency Paid Sick Time bill would facilitate up to ten additional days, 80 hours of paid sick time to workers who are not covered under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) stimulus. This includes the following:
- Workers employed in a private company with less than 500 employees; and
- Healthcare providers and domestic facilities that can withdraw from the stimulus package of FFCRA
The new paid sick time laws are designed to extend support and sick-time benefits for immediate use to those who don’t have it protected by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Who Can Apply?
If you are an employee in the state of Massachusetts, the chances are that you are covered under the law, whether you are a full-time, part-time or temporary worker. It’s possible to avail the emergency paid sick time immediately.
However, know that the law doesn’t offer coverage to federal employees or workers of individual municipalities unless the municipality has already opted in.
The provisions in the Emergency Paid Sick Time bill offer leaves for the following reasons:
- Any worker experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have a diagnosis report on pending, quarantined, or have been diagnosed with the virus
- Or if a worker’s family member or room-mate who is experiencing the coronavirus symptoms, self-quarantined, or has contracted the virus
- When an employee needs medical or preventive care or is suffering from the infection and seeks medical health care
- To take care of a family member who has contracted the virus or have been exposed to someone ill and needs medical help
- If a public health emergency arises and the employee has to take an off
- When a health official says a worker (or their family member) poses a health threat
Funding For Sick Time Leaves
The sick-time regulation is for a COVID-19 related emergency. It provides the employee with funds up to a maximum amount of $850 per week.
The Department of Revenue (DOR) will pay back the employers for emergency paid sick time within five working days. The businesses would pay their employees taking paid sick leave regular rate, but if the employee is already entitled under the FFCRA, then the payments may not be paid back.
Given how quickly the Emergency Paid Sick Time bill was passed, the employers should ensure that they review and update their rules and policies in accordance with the new law.
Is It Necessary To Give A Notice?
Employees are required to provide notice if:
- Their need for sick time is foreseeable
- It’s practicable
- The offices are still open.
On the other hand, employers should not ask them to search for a replacement worker to cover their shifts while they are gone.
Do Employees Have To Provide Documentation?
No. Employers can’t ask for any paperwork to prove that the employees need to take emergency paid sick leave.
As long as there is sufficient information about the employee’s problem, the employer only needs to:
- Maintain this information on a form, in a file
- Treat the documentation as a confidential medical record
- Safeguard the information, only disclosing it with the employee’s express permission.
Will It Be A Job-Protected Leave?
Yes. MA employers can’t take action against a worker for taking emergency paid sick time. They also can’t restrain or deny employees from exercising their right to use this paid leave.
Additionally, the law mandates that employers much continue to maintain benefits, including health care, while the employee is away on paid emergency sick time.
Get Help From Trustworthy Employment Lawyers in MA
The employment lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard Mucci carefully evaluate and review your legal matters and advocate your employment-related concerns. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you with any novel legal precedent and reach an instant solution.
If you run a business or an organization in the state of Massachusetts and want to know how this law applies to you and your workers, let us help. Together we’ll review your current leave policies to figure out how the emergency paid sick time law will impact you.
The Law offices of Richard Mucci have assisted corporations through negotiation and litigation and have helped both parties meet their goals. We also understand the need to foster a positive association between employers and employees.
Attorney Mucci, experienced employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Richard Mucci in Massachusetts, navigates the intricacies of relevant legislation, coupled with credibility and transparency. He carefully listen to you to come up with a solution that protects your long term career prospects while also helping you accomplish your goals.
Having access to a competent employment attorney can empower you and solve your job-related problems in several ways, for both employers and employees.
Ready to meet an expert employment lawyer in Massachusetts? Contact The Law Offices of Richard Mucci and get comprehensive consultation on your legal matters.