Attorney General Maura Healey is tangling with Associated Industries of Massachusetts over the state’s new paid sick time law.
Healey wrote to state Senator Karen Spilka, Democrat of Ashland, on Monday to urge her and other senators to reject any requests to delay implementing the new law, which was approved by voters in November and takes effect on July 1. Spilka is chair of the Senate ways and means committee, which will oversee the Senate’s upcoming budget debate.
Healey has filed draft regulations for that new paid sick time law, and those rules will be discussed at a series of public hearings through June 5 before they are finalized.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts has been urging state lawmakers to delay the law’s implementation until January, to give businesses more time to prepare. But Healey opposes that delay. She says businesses’ concerns can be addressed while implementing the law on time.
“Nearly one million of our most vulnerable, lowest paid workers will be eligible for earned sick time for the first time under this law. That means they will now be able to take time off if they or their families are sick without the fear of losing their jobs or a day’s pay,” Healey wrote to Spilka. “We should not make them wait any longer, and I do not believe there is reason to delay the implementation date that the voters overwhelmingly approved last fall.”
The new law allows people who work for employers with 11 or more workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year, and employees at smaller businesses can get up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time. Employees will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work, and can begin to use their earned sick time 90 days after starting their job.
AIM members have peppered the group with questions about the law. More than 600 employers signed up for an AIM-hosted online seminar last week, many of them expressing confusion over the details.
“The overwhelming number of people who took part in the Webinar and asked questions underscores the problem that employers are going to have implementing a complex and far-reaching law for which only draft rules of the road now exist,” Russ Sullivan, an AIM vice president, said on AIM’s blog on April 30.Jon Chesto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.