Vermont just became the latest state to mandate paid sick leave for workers.
Last week, Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law requiring businesses to offer full-time employees at least three days (or 24 hours) of paid sick leave annually. The law kicks in January 1, 2017 and the minimum will increase to five days in 2019.
With the bill’s signing, an estimated 60,000 Vermonters will become eligible for paid leave.
To use the benefit, employees must have worked at least 20 weeks in the last year and 18 hours per week. The law also establishes a minimum accrual rate of one hour per every 52 hours worked. Employees who have worked at their company for less than a year will be able to accrue, but not use, their paid sick time.
The law permits paid leave for preventative medical care, illness or injury, and the need to care for a family member. The law defines a family member as a “parent, grandparent, spouse, child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child.”
In a statement, President Obama praised Vermont and Governor Shumlin for signing the bill. The state is the fifth in the nation to require paid leave, following California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon.