Paid Sick Leave Eyes on Rhode Island

The eyes of the paid-sick-leave world will be on Rhode Island this week. Yes, more municipalities will opt out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave law during their last week to do so. But Rhode Island legislators have this week only to pass a PSL law and put an end to the wait for “State Number Eight” and to claim that title for itself.  Since no other state legislature is likely to enact a PSL in 2017, Rhode Island is the last possibility. The Ocean State’s legislative session ends Friday, June 30.

Both of Rhode Island’s neighbors–Connecticut and Massachusetts–as well as Arizona, California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have a paid sick leave law.

The legislative sausage-making has been in high gear to try to reach a compromise on a PSL bill. The Senate bill reported out of the Labor Committee would require employers with at least eleven employees to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every thirty hours worked to a maximum of 32 hours in 2018 and 40 annually after that. The law would be effective January 1, 2018.

Sausage Making 2Kudos to the drafters for including specific provisions concerning employee abuse of paid sick leave. I had posted some time ago that this topic gets far too little legislative ink, and that if legislators wanted to draw more support from the business community, they need to acknowledge what everyone knows–some percent of employees abuse sick time and a PSL law is a powerful tool to give those abusers. The Senate bill says that: Continue reading

Another Dozen Nix Cook County Earned Sick Leave Law

Nearly 70, more than half of Cook County political subdivisions, have opted out of the County’s Earned Sick Leave Law.  Eight days remain for political subdivisions to opt out. and, given the scheduled votes, it is likely that there will be more opt outs.  So much for my speculation that the number of opt outs would top out at 55. NIX

Here are the dozen new additions to my nix list: Chicago Ridge, Des Plaines, Forest Park, Hinsdale, Lansing, Midlothian, Palos Hills, Prospect Heights, South Chicago Heights, Steger,  Thornton and Worth.

If you are getting the sense that monitoring the opt outs of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Law is the primary national PSL issue, you are correct. The other PSL issue to watch is the PSL debate in Rhode Island in the few days remaining of the legislative session.  We may yet have a “State Number Eight” in 2017.

I have listed my Cook County nix list on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.

More Nix Cook County Sick Leave as Deadline Nears

More than fifty-five political subdivisions have opted out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Law. That is more than 40% of the County’s approximately 130 municipalities.  Eleven days remain for political subdivisions to opt out. I suspect the final number will exceed sixty. NIX

Here are the eleven additions to my nix list: Crestwood, East Hazel Crest, Elgin, Glenview, Hodgkins, LaGrange Park, Lincolnwood, Melrose Park, Morton Grove,   Northlake and Orland Hills.

I have listed my Cook County nix list on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.

Arizona Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act: A PSL-4Step Analysis

Arizona voters last November approved Proposition 206, The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. The Act requires most Arizona employers to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave, effective July 1, 2017. It also increases the minimum wage in increments.

Legal challenges to the constitutionality of that law by a cadre of business interests have been unsuccessful, thus far. On March 14, in a one-paragraph opinion, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected the argument that the Proposition was unconstitutional. The Court stated that it would issue a “written opinion further explaining the Court’s decision … in due course” but has not yet done so.

The Arizona Industrial Commission (AIC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the Act on May 5, 2017. The comment period ended on June 5, 2017. The AIC also issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Minimum Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time, updated most recently on May 19, 2017.saguaro-232762_640

Here, I use the PSL-4Step framework to analyze The Arizona Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.

Step 1: Does it apply?

“Employer” includes every type of business entity, political subdivision of Arizona, individual or other entity “acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee” excluding the State of Arizona and the United States.

“Employee” means any person who is employed by an employer but does not include anyone employed by a parent or a sibling, or who is employed performing babysitting services in the employer’s home on a casual basis. The term also includes recipients of public benefits working as a condition of receiving public assistance. There are no salary-based exemptions.

The earned paid sick time provisions (referred to in this blog as PSL) are effective July 1, 2017 except if a labor contract is in effect at that time, the law takes effect upon the expiration of that contract.

An employer and union may “expressly waive[]” any or all of the law’s PSL requirements in their labor contract by using “clear and unambiguous terms.”   (Help me understand the logic of that provision.) Continue reading

Cook County Nix Flurry as the End Nears

Come Alsip and Bridgeview and Burbank and Bellwood.

Come Hillside and Justice and River Grove and Homewood.

Come Orland Park and Palos Heights and Maywood.NIX

Welcome these Cook County municipalities to my nix list, those that have opted out of the county Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.  My list is now 45 municipalities long, which is approximately one-third of the municipalities within Cook County.

I posted last week that opting out of the county ordinance will be ending soon because the ordinance becomes effective July 1, 2017.  I continue to watch a handful of municipalities which will be voting soon on whether to opt out. I am also researching a few other municipalities which, supposedly have opted out, but I have been unable to confirm that they had, in fact, done so.  (If any readers know of any others, please let me know.) I speculate that come July 1, 2017, between fifty and fifty-five municipalities will have opted out of the county sick leave law.

I have listed the Cook County nix list on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.

A Week of Paid Sick Leave Vetoes

Maryland, Minnesota and now Nevada. Three paid sick leave-related vetoes within seven days.

On May 25, 2017, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the PSL bill passed by the state General Assembly. Five days later, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill passed by the Minnesota legislature which would preempt municipalities from enacting a sick leave law, among other employment regulations. Then, on June 1, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed the PSL bill passed by the legislatures.dislike-157252

My posts about the Maryland and Minnesota vetoes are here and here.

Governor Sandoval’s veto means that the wait for PSL State Number Eight continues. I had speculated previously that the stars seemed aligned for a PSL law in Rhode Island given that the governor is a Democrat, Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both the House and the Senate, and neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts already have PSL laws.   However, the Rhode Island House bill remains in committee.

It has been seven months since any paid sick leave bill has passed anywhere in the country, although five PSL laws become effective July 1, 2017 (Arizona, Cook County, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Paul).

In Reverse “Flu With Your Fries” Case, Employer Terminates Employee for Refusing Vaccination

“Flu with your fries?” has become a mantra for paid sick leave supporters, suggesting that employees without paid sick days will come to work sick and infect customers and co-workers.  In this scenario, the employee is the potential infector.french-fries

In perhaps the first reverse “flu with your fries” case, a hospital employer terminated a nurse who refused to comply with a policy requiring all clinical employees to get the Tdap (Tetanus Diphtheria Acellular Peru) vaccination to protect them from being infected by a patient(s). In this scenario, the employee is the potential infectee.

The court dismissed the nurse’s ADA discrimination and failure to reasonably accommodate claims but gave her the opportunity to re-plead those claims, as well as a state disability claim.  However the court cautioned that it considered “her claim tenuous, at best, and [it] will not hesitate to summarily dismiss the amended complaint if the deficiencies identified herein are not rectified.” Ruggiero v. Mount Nittany Medical Center (M.D. Pa, May 15, 2017).