Vermont has passed new legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for employees. Vermont joined four other states that already mandate paid sick leave – California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

The law goes into effect as of January 2017 for employers with more than five employees. Employers with five or fewer employees will have until January 2018 to comply. Initially, the law will require that employers guarantee certain full time employees at least three paid sick days each year. As of January 2019, however, all employers affected by the law must guarantee at least five sick days for certain full time employees.

The law provides that an employee shall accrue not less than one hour of earned sick time for every 52 hours worked. An employer may require a waiting period of up to one year before a newly hired employee may use the accrued sick time. An employee may use the earned sick time if the employee is ill or injured, for specified types of medical appointments, to care for ill or injured family members, to assist family members who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or to care for family members whose school or other type of care is closed during the employee’s workday.

The new law does not apply to a number of classifications of employees, including individuals employed by the federal government, certain individuals employed by the state, and certain temporary or seasonal employees.

A link to the Vermont law as enacted can be found here. The paid sick leave mandated in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon varies by state, and retailers should make sure they comply in each state in which they do business.