Paid Sick Leave: Deconstructing the Patchwork to Develop a Way Forward

For years a local outlier, paid sick leave laws have now proliferated across the United States.  The laws impact employers of all sizes, regardless of whether their operations are in only one state, in multiple states, or nationwide.  It is increasingly challenging for companies in multiple jurisdictions to develop policies that comply universally – or even with just two laws.  Without fail, and despite some overlap, each paid sick leave law seems to contain at least one provision that can impede the establishment of uniform practices.

While the number and scope of these laws has expanded, paid sick leave provisions often appear to be drafted in a vacuum without consideration of how they interact with pre-existing laws.  Moreover, for employers, parallel developments, e.g., paid family leave laws, impose an additional layer of complexity to an already significant list of legal and administrative challenges.

This paper examines what paid sick leave is and charts its transition from the exception to the rule.  It highlights major compliance challenges these incongruous laws create for private-sector employers, identifies issues for lawmakers and enforcement officials to consider when drafting and enforcing laws, and discusses possible fixes for reducing discrepancies and enhancing administrative ease without sacrificing employee access to paid leave.  Finally, we explore the viability of a federal solution.

Click here to read the full report from Littler's Workplace Policy Institute and the HR Policy Association.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.