Between September 2014 and February 2015, 11 jurisdictions joined the rapidly expanding list of states and localities that mandate paid sick leave for private sector employees.1 In September 2014, city councils in East Orange, Irvington, Passaic and Paterson, New Jersey, approved paid sick leave ordinances. In November 2014, voters approved paid sick leave ballot measures in Massachusetts and three cities — Trenton, New Jersey; Montclair, New Jersey; and Oakland, California. And as of February, city councils in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Township of Bloomfield, New Jersey; and Tacoma, Washington, approved paid sick leave ordinances.

The momentum could continue as other jurisdictions, including Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New York, have introduced paid sick leave legislation this year. Moreover, after President Obama called on Congress earlier this year to pass federal legislation mandating paid sick leave, Democrats reintroduced the Healthy Families Act, which would provide employees with up to seven paid sick days per year. The President also called on states and cities to enact similar legislation. Although such legislation could gain traction in more localities, the Republican-controlled Congress isn’t likely to pass paid sick leave legislation this year.

The map below shows states, and states with localities, that have paid sick leave laws, as well as states that have enacted bans prohibiting local governments from enacting such laws. Employers with employees in jurisdictions with paid sick leave laws should review their leave policies to confirm compliance with the requirements and ensure their payroll records properly track sick leave accrued and used by covered employees.

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Paid sick leave laws across the U.S.


1. See “Paid Sick Leave Laws: A Growing Trend Across the U.S.,” Towers Watson Insider, April 2014.