Starting January 1st, Vermont workers will have extra peace of mind when they miss work because of an illness or injury. Vermont’s Earned Sick Time Act goes into effect on Sunday requiring all employers doing business in or operating in the State of Vermont to provide earned sick time to their employees that can be used to care either for themselves or for a family member. The law reflects a growing trend among states to legislate paid sick leave benefits to promote wellness and provide greater numbers of workers with job security and economic stability when a health condition takes them away from work.
Accrual and Usage
Vermont’s Act will allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 52 hours worked. In 2017 and 2018, an employee may use up to 24 hours (3 days) of earned sick time annually. In 2019 and subsequent years, an employee is entitled to use up to 40 hours (5 days) of earned sick time annually. A small business that employs five or fewer full-time employees will not be subject to the Act until January 1st, 2018.
Employees may use their paid sick leave for the following reasons:
- the employee’s own illness, injury or diagnostic, preventive, routine or therapeutic health care
- to care for a child, parent, grandparent, spouse, or parent-in-law who is ill, injured or who requires diagnostic, preventive, routine, therapeutic or long-term health care
- to obtain legal or social services related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- to care for a family member whose school or work location is closed due to a public health emergency
Employers with paid time off policies at least equal in accrual and leave time that may be used for the same reasons are not required to provide additional leave benefits because of the Act.
Notice and Posting
Employers are required to post the official Earned Sick Time Act Notice of Employee Rights in the workplace. Compliance Poster Company’s Vermont All-On-One Posters have been updated with this official notice. Employers are also required to provide notice of the Act’s provisions to new hires which employers can provide by updating handbooks to inform employees of the State’s paid sick leave law.