Life’s Rich Paid Sick Leave Pageant

Can we talk? I mean can we really talk about paid sick leave? As we embark on 2017, let’s step back and look at the PSL muddle that has been wrought. Rube Goldberg could not devise such a complicated scheme. Let’s review:

Seven states and D.C. have enacted PSL laws. A legal challenge to Arizona’s law is pending. Arizona won the first round. In Oregon, nine counties as employers sued, arguing that the state law is an unconstitutional unfunded mandate and they need not comply. They won the first round.

Fifteen states have banned their political subdivisions from enacting a PSL ordinance. Alabama passed its law to nullify Birmingham’s ordinance increasing its minimum wage. Among the legal challenges to the Alabama law is that it is tainted with racial animus and violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Two counties have PSL laws. Cook County, Illinois enacted its law despite the Cook County State’s Attorney’s advice that it had no authority to do so and that municipalities within the county could opt out of complying with it. Three have already done so. In Maryland, the governor has announced that he will have a PSL law introduced this legislative session. Montgomery County, Maryland is concerned that Maryland’s law would negate its county law. A preemption battle looms.

30 municipalities have enacted PSL laws. 13 municipalities in New Jersey have enacted a PSL ordinance although New Jersey itself does not have such a law. 8 municipalities in California have enacted a PSL ordinance. California has a PSL law as well. Continue reading