As I mentioned in an earlier post, starting on July 1, 2015, employees of businesses with eleven or more employees are eligible to start earning paid sick leave. Businesses with fewer than eleven employees may earn unpaid sick leave. For more information, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office has provided a useful website.

The Massachusetts Attorney General is presently in the process of promulgating regulations for the law's implementation. The proposed regulations are available here in PDF form.

As a practical business matter, employers continue to be a central focus for public policies and private sector initiatives intended to improve the health of individuals and communities. Employers may well want to carefully consider what actually works for keeping employees healthy. Currently, what doesn't appear to work very well, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's research, are many of the "wellness programs" that have become popular among corporate employers over the last decade. 

The reality might well be that the workplace is not the ideal setting for health-care related social policies, especially when driven by trends and hype. The bottom line for both money and health, might be that businesses may want to consider adopting a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to figuring out how to contain health care costs and how to empower workers to take better care of themselves.
Starting on July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees must begin providing paid sick leave. Click here for a summary of the new law's key features.

Both employers and employees should review their rights and responsibilities under the new law carefully. Notably, good record-keeping of hours worked and accrued leave will be essential. 

Employers should also be aware that employees still retain their FMLA rights under federal law. Furthermore, when documenting the use of sick leave employers should bear in mind the need to comply with both HIPAA and Massachusetts data security and personal information privacy standards, when dealing with employee medical information.