Vermont 5th State to Enact Paid Sick Leave Law

On January 1, 2017, Vermont will become the fifth state to require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave, following Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, and Oregon. Vermont ‘s paid sick leave law will eventually provide employees with five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year, but employers will have plenty of time to prepare for the law’s requirements. The Vermont paid sick leave law will allow employers to limit leave accrual and impose waiting periods on use.

When the law takes full effect employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 52 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. However, between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018, employers with six or more employees can cap accrual and use of paid sick leave to 24 hours. Employers with five or fewer full-time employees are not subject to the law until January 1, 2018, and may require employees to wait until after December 31, 2018 to begin using accrued paid sick leave.

Permissible uses of Vermont paid sick leave time include:

  • The employee’s own illness or injury;
  • Obtaining diagnosis, preventive or routine health care;
  • To care for a sick or injured parent, grandparent, spouse, child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child;
  • To obtain legal or medical services for an employee or family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  • To care for a family member because a school or business is closed due to public health or safety situation.

Vermont paid sick leave is paid the greater of the employee’s regular rate of pay or the state minimum wage rate. Employers will also be required to post a notice of the act’s provisions in the workplace and provide employees with individual notice of the law at the time of hire.

So how does Vermont’s paid sick leave law compare to other states?

  • California – 3 days (24 hours) per year
  • Connecticut – 5 days (40 hours) per year
  • Massachusetts – 5 days (40 hours) per year
  • Oregon – 5 days (40 hours) per year
  • Vermont – 5 days (40 hours) per year


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