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Paid Sick Leave by State and Municipality

Author: Michelle Barrett Falconer, Littler

While no federal law requires paid sick leave in private employment, state or local laws may protect employees who may otherwise be forced to choose between going to work sick and losing pay and, in some cases, their jobs. Paid sick leave provides employees with financial peace of mind when they cannot work due to their own illness or because they need to care for a sick family member.

More than 10 states, the District of Columbia and several municipalities require certain private employers to provide some form of paid sick leave to eligible employees. (Note: More than a dozen states have enacted so-called preemption laws that prohibit municipalities from adopting regulations that expand on state or federal leave requirements. However, existing municipal laws are often grandfathered in.)

The following chart provides an overview of the various paid sick leave laws in effect, or soon to take effect, in the private sector. This chart is not all-inclusive and other smaller municipalities may have also enacted paid sick leave laws. Cells marked "N/A" or "No" denote that the law does not have a requirement or specify relevant details.

While the information contained in this chart regarding accrual and usage are based on an employer using an accrual method (not frontloading/lump sum), the Frontloading/Lump Sum Allowed and Minimum Amounts Required column indicates whether the law permits an employer to use a frontloading (or lump sum) method and if so, the required amount and by when leave must be frontloaded.

This chart only covers laws and ordinances that are specific to paid sick leave. For laws that extend beyond paid sick leave, such those that provide for paid leave for any reason or kin care leave, see Leave Laws by State and Municipality.

Further, in addition to the safe time provisions of these laws, employees may also be entitled to leave under state and local laws that protect against domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. For details of those laws, see Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Leave and Accommodation Laws by State and Municipality.

In addition, note that employees may also be entitled to paid sick leave under COVID-19-related temporary laws. Information regarding these laws can be found in: