Mandatory Sick Pay for Vermont Starts January 1st. Here’s What You Need to Know.
Under Vermont bill H.187, effective January 1, 2017, most Vermont employers will be required to provide employees with mandatory sick pay. There are a number of variables to use for your PTO accruals to ensure that you are in compliance with the new law. Here are the details:
Which employers must comply?
In 2017, any employer with 6 or more employees must comply with the new law. Employers with 5 or fewer employees will be required to implement mandatory sick time accruals on January 1, 2018.
Which employees are eligible?
Employees who work an average of 18 hours or more each week during the year are eligible to earn sick time. There is an exception for seasonal employees working only 20 weeks per year or less for a specific employer. Employees under the age of 18 are also not eligible.
How much sick time do employees need to earn?
Eligible employees earn 1 hour for every 52 hours worked. For 2017 and 2018, employers may cap the amount of time an eligible employee earns at 24 hours for a 12-month period. Commencing in 2019, the permitted cap increases to 40 hours.
Existing employees of employers with 6 or more employees begin accruing earned sick time effective January 1, 2017 (for employers with 5 or fewer employees, accruals for existing employees start January 1, 2018). New hires begin to accrue sick time on their start date.
When can eligible employees use their earned sick time?
Employers may delay the usage of earned sick time for up to one year from either the effective date of the law for existing employees or the start date for a new hire. However, employees must be accruing earned time during this period.
An employee can use sick time when he/she:
- is ill or injured;
- obtains professional diagnostic, preventive, routine, or therapeutic health care;
- cares for a sick or injured family member, including helping that individual obtain diagnostic, preventive, routine, or therapeutic health treatment, or accompanying the employee’s parent, grandparent, spouse, or parent-in-law to an appointment related to his or her long-term care;
- is arranging for social or legal services or obtaining medical care or counseling for the employee or a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or is relocating because of any of these; or
- cares for a family member because the school or business where that individual is normally located is closed for public health or safety reasons.
How can I keep track and stay in compliance?
Having a time and attendance software solution that automatically calculates accruals and can be set to make the appropriate changes on the required trigger dates can help automate your processes and avoid costly compliance mistakes. With Checkmate’s Workforce Ready platform, you can keep track of all earned sick time, allow for time-off requests when employees become eligible to utilize their time and seamlessly access all employee time data into your payroll for processing. Contact us today for a demonstration.
What else should I know?
Employers are required to notify new hires of the Vermont Paid Sick Leave upon hire and must display the posting of the law in a conspicuous place where all employees can see it. Need help staying on top of your posting requirements and keeping track of all the periodic updates? Be sure to check out our Labor Law Poster service.
Employers are not required to carry over the mandatory sick time from one year to the next, nor are they required to pay out any unused mandatory sick time upon termination.
Here is a link to the full text of the Act should you require it for reference: http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/Docs/ACTS/ACT069/ACT069%20As%20Enacted.pdf