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Vermont Paid Sick Leave Bill

Paid sick leave: how much?

From January 1, 2017 - January 1, 2018:
Employees will accrue 24 hours (or three days) of earned sick time.

Employers with fewer than six employees will have until January 1, 2018 to come into compliance.

From January 1, 2018:
Employees will accrue 40 hours (or five days) of earned sick time.

Earned sick time will accrue at not less than one hour for every 52 hours worked. 

For newly hired employees, employers may impose a waiting period up to one year during which employees earn, but cannot use sick time. 

Who is covered?

All full-time employees who work on average of no less than 18 hours per week in a year, including: federal employees, employees under 18, employees employed for 20 weeks or fewer in a 12 month period and in job scheduled to last 20 weeks or fewer.

Newly hired employees may have to wait a year before they can start using earned sick leave.

How to use sick time?

  • For own illness, injury, or preventive medical care;
  • To care for a sick or injured parent, grandparent, spouse, child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child;
  • To arrange for social or legal services or obtain medical care or counseling for the employee or for the employee’s parent, grandparent, spouse, child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child, who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or who is relocating as the result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and
  • To care for a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child, because the school or business where that individual is normally located during the employee’s workday is closed for public health or safety reasons.

An employee may use earned sick time in increments shorter than a working day, but the employer is not required to permit increments shorter than an hour.

An employer may require employees to make reasonable efforts to avoid scheduling routine or preventive health care during regular work hours and to notify the employer as soon as practicable of the intent to take earned sick time and the duration of the absence

An employer may cap the use of accrued earned sick time to not more than 24 hours in a 12-month period from January 1, 2017, until December 31, 2018, and not more than 40 hours in a 12-month period thereafter.

Can unused sick time be carried over to the next year?

Unused sick time can carried over to the next year, however, an employer may pay an employee for unused earned sick time at the end of the year.

Should unused sick time being paid out upon termination?

An employee is not entitled to payment of unused sick time upon termination from employment, unless it is agreed upon by the employer.

Sick leave and existing policy or collective bargaining agreement?

If an employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, or an employers policy that provides paid off time with accrual and usage rates equaling or greater than the bill, then the employer is considered in compliance with the bill. 

What to do by violations of sick leave rights?

Workers who believe they have been denied sick leave, or retaliated against for requesting or taking leave, may file a complaint with the Department of Labor. Violators may be fined not more than $5,000.00.

Updated: 03/09/2016
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