In the hours before the General Assembly’s 2014 session closed, there were a number of bills being watched by employers. I’ll have an additional recap of the session in the days ahead, but one bill that passed on Wednesday night made a number of small, but important, changes to the state’s Paid Sick Leave law that employers should take note of.
House Bill 5269 — which still requires the Governor’s signature — makes several changes that have long been sought. (For a full recap, see the OLR Bill Analysis here.) The changes become effective January 1, 2015, when the bill is signed.
First, the bill changes the method for figuring out if a non-manufacturing business employs 50 or more employees. Under the bill, the company will determine if it satisfies the annual 50-employee threshold based on the number of employees on its payroll for the week containing October 1, rather than the quarterly formula presently used.
Next, the bill prohibits employers from firing, dismissing, or transferring an employee from one job site to another to come under the 50-employee threshold. Any affected worker can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.
The bill also changes the timeframe for accruing paid sick leave and makes it more in line (though not exactly parallel) with the state FMLA law. As noted by the OLR: “Under current law, employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked per calendar year. Under the bill, they accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked during whatever 365-day year the business uses to calculate employee benefits. This allows the employer to start the benefit year on any date, rather than only on January 1.”
And lastly the bill adds radiologic technologists to the list of job categories eligible to accrue and take paid sick leave.
Employers who have been close the 50 employee cut-off should review these rules in particular but all employers should take note of the changes to the accural methods. That should make it easier, in the long run, for employers to track such time.