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Massachusetts Attorney General Offers "Safe Harbor" to Employers on Earned Sick Time, But Certain Conditions Apply


On May 18, 2015, with just over six weeks until the earned sick time law is set to go into effect on July 1, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office announced that it would be creating a “safe harbor” provision for employers with existing paid time off policies. Under the safe harbor provision, an employer with a paid time off policy in existence as of May 1, 2015 will be deemed to be in compliance through December 31, 2015, provided that the paid time off policy meets certain requirements.  Employers taking advantage of this safe harbor provision must be in full compliance with the law and the final regulations on January 1, 2016.

While this safe harbor provision does give certain employers some breathing room to comply with the law and the not-yet-finalized regulations, it raises more questions than it answers. We believe the Attorney General will have to clarify her announcement in order to enable employers to take advantage of this safe harbor.

Who Qualifies For The Safe Harbor?

Our Preliminary Suggestions, Subject to Further Clarification by the Attorney General

We are carefully monitoring developments about the new sick leave law, and will keep you advised. Click here to learn about the Fisher Phillips Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Compliance Program, which can help you navigate the challenges of the new law.

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