Eighteen months ago, we posted about the developing patchwork of state and local paid sick leave (PSL) laws. I urged readers to squint a bit out over the leave-and-attendance law horizon to see this patchwork taking shape. Eighteen months later, there’s no need to squint. The patchwork is very visible, and growing.
Eighteen months ago, Connecticut was the only state with a PSL law. California recently became the second state (for more information on that law, see here). The New Jersey Assembly will be considering PSL law this month; Massachusetts voters will have a referendum on a PSL law in November.
Eighteen months ago, there were four municipalities with PSL laws (San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, OR and District of Columbia). Now there are eleven. Added were San Diego, Eugene, OR, Newark, Jersey City, Passaic, East Orange, and Paterson, NJ), Numerous other municipalities—including more in New Jersey—are considering PSL laws.
As we have noted repeatedly, the patchwork challenge has nothing to do with the social question of whether there should or should not be paid sick days. The challenge is the proliferation of leave and attendance laws and how they interact with each other. For example, does the time off under paid sick day laws run concurrent with time off under these other leave-and-attendance laws or is it “stacked” on top of those laws?
With 50 states and more than 39,000 municipalities in the United States, this patchwork is destined to grow and, if the current pace continues, to grow rapidly. .