Paid Sick Leave Guidance for Employers

Employers in Massachusetts are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations, and then may apply for reimbursement from the state, under the Covid Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave remains in effect until April 1, 2022 or the exhaustion of $75 M in program funds as determined by the Commonwealth, whichever is earlier.

The new law extends the coverage of the MA EPSL to allow leave to care for family members receiving vaccination or recovering from vaccination.

Amount of Paid Sick Leave

  • Full-time employees are entitled to up to 40 hours of leave, for part-time employees it would be the average number of hours that they work in one week.
  • Employers need to pay them for their missed hours of work at their normal pay rate up to a maximum of $850 per employee. (If employers want to pay them more, they can, but the legal requirement is $850 per employee and that is what the state will reimburse). If employees usually have deductions from their pay for benefits (health insurance, 401(k), FSA, etc.) those benefit deductions can still come out of the $850 the employer is required to pay them.
  • If one or more employee uses less than their full allotment of leave at one time, employers should make sure they document the number of hours that they used with the payroll company because the remainder of the hours/pay should be available in the event that they need to quarantine again while these leave provisions are in effect.

Reasons for Sick Leave

  • The leave is available for employees diagnosed with COVID who need to self-isolate, get a medical diagnosis, care or treatment for COVID symptoms, or recover from vaccination, or if they need to care for a family member for the same reasons as well as if they are ordered to quarantine or need to care for a family member who has been ordered to quarantine.

Employee Sick Leave Form and MA State Reimbursement

  • In order to be eligible for state reimbursement, employers need to have employees complete a written request for leave. Employers can provide the form to employees to fill out. Employers will need to have copies of these forms to submit in support of the reimbursement request.
  • Employers can submit to the state for reimbursement of the paid sick leave. Here are the instructions: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-temporary-emergency-paid-sick-leave-program#how-to-apply-for-reimbursement- Employers should also forward this to your payroll company if they will be submitting for reimbursement on your behalf.

If Employees Need More Sick Leave

  • If any employees are sick and need more time to recover than is provided under the COVID 19 temporary paid leave, they can use their sick leave/PTO under employers other policies.

If you need additional guidance, or wish to work with our Employment law team, connect with us.

WATCH ON DEMAND:
Online Seminar ” COVID-19 Vaccination Policies”

In this helpful webinar, Attorney Moschos breaks down the orders and current Massachusetts guidance available from the courts and the Federal administration. SederLaw Attorney, Demitrios Moschos , presented an online seminar on COVID-19 Vaccination Policies and the challenges facing employers on November 2, 2021, at the Business & Government Forum, hosted by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce .

Paid Sick Leave Guidance for Employers

Employers in Massachusetts are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations, and then may apply for reimbursement from the state, under the Covid Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave remains in effect until April 1, 2022 or the exhaustion of $75 M in program funds as determined by the Commonwealth, whichever is earlier.

The new law extends the coverage of the MA EPSL to allow leave to care for family members receiving vaccination or recovering from vaccination.

Amount of Paid Sick Leave

  • Full-time employees are entitled to up to 40 hours of leave, for part-time employees it would be the average number of hours that they work in one week.
  • Employers need to pay them for their missed hours of work at their normal pay rate up to a maximum of $850 per employee. (If employers want to pay them more, they can, but the legal requirement is $850 per employee and that is what the state will reimburse). If employees usually have deductions from their pay for benefits (health insurance, 401(k), FSA, etc.) those benefit deductions can still come out of the $850 the employer is required to pay them.
  • If one or more employee uses less than their full allotment of leave at one time, employers should make sure they document the number of hours that they used with the payroll company because the remainder of the hours/pay should be available in the event that they need to quarantine again while these leave provisions are in effect.

Reasons for Sick Leave

  • The leave is available for employees diagnosed with COVID who need to self-isolate, get a medical diagnosis, care or treatment for COVID symptoms, or recover from vaccination, or if they need to care for a family member for the same reasons as well as if they are ordered to quarantine or need to care for a family member who has been ordered to quarantine.

Employee Sick Leave Form and MA State Reimbursement

  • In order to be eligible for state reimbursement, employers need to have employees complete a written request for leave. Employers can provide the form to employees to fill out. Employers will need to have copies of these forms to submit in support of the reimbursement request.
  • Employers can submit to the state for reimbursement of the paid sick leave. Here are the instructions: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-temporary-emergency-paid-sick-leave-program#how-to-apply-for-reimbursement- Employers should also forward this to your payroll company if they will be submitting for reimbursement on your behalf.

If Employees Need More Sick Leave

  • If any employees are sick and need more time to recover than is provided under the COVID 19 temporary paid leave, they can use their sick leave/PTO under employers other policies.

If you need additional guidance, or wish to work with our Employment law team, connect with us.

WATCH ON DEMAND:
Online Seminar ” COVID-19 Vaccination Policies”

In this helpful webinar, Attorney Moschos breaks down the orders and current Massachusetts guidance available from the courts and the Federal administration. SederLaw Attorney, Demitrios Moschos , presented an online seminar on COVID-19 Vaccination Policies and the challenges facing employers on November 2, 2021, at the Business & Government Forum, hosted by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce .