Vermont has joined Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, and Oregon as a state requiring its employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. The Vermont sick leave law allows employees three days of paid leave and takes effect on January 1, 2017, for employers with more than five employees who average at least 18 hours per week. Most household employers (any employer with five or fewer employees) will not be subject to the law until January 1, 2018, and the law only applies to those employees who work an average of 30 hours or more per week. Part-time nannies or other employees who average less than 30 hours per week are not eligible for paid sick leave. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the minimum number of sick days employees can accrue increases from three to five.
The new law entitles eligible employees to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 52 hours worked. However, between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018, employers may place a limit of 24 hours in a 12-month period for an employee’s accrual and use of sick time. After December 31, 2018, the limit can increase to 40 hours in a 12-month period, if an employer wishes to implement it.
Employees are generally allowed to carry over unused, accrued sick time into the following year, but employers may enforce the limits listed above. In place of permitting carryover, employers may instead pay an employee for unused sick time, but they are not required to do so.
A waiting period of up to one year may be imposed for new employees or for current employees who are employed when the law takes effect. During this time, employees will accrue sick time but may be prohibited from using it until the waiting period is complete.
Paid sick leave may be used for:
- Caring for the employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, medical diagnosis or treatment, or preventative care
- Caring for or hiring services for the employee or employee’s family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Caring for a family member because that individual’s location is closed for public health or safety reasons during normal work hours
Household employers in Vermont should begin preparing for these changes by reviewing your current time-off policies and update them in advance of the new law taking effect. For more information on how GTM keeps household employers compliant with labor laws, contact us at (800) 929-9213.