Gary Karnedy
Gary Karnedy

Question and Answer Series on Vermont’s New ‘Sick Leave Law’

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Primmer’s managing shareholder, Gary Karnedy, recently wrote an article on the new sick leave law for Vermont Business Magazine. Vermont’s new sick leave law takes effect January 2017 (January 2018 for those who employ five or fewer employees). Although you still have seven months to determine how this law applies to your business, it would be wise to start reviewing your current policies and planning for the remainder of 2016 now. This will ensure a smooth transition once the new, and somewhat complex, law goes into effect.

The question and answer series below highlights some of the more pressing issues surrounding Vermont’s new sick leave law.

I want to hire five new employees next January. If they ask me for sick time off on their third day of work, do I have to pay them for it?

It depends. Determine whether you currently have a written paid sick leave policy that provides employees with immediate access to paid sick days. If you don’t have a more ‘generous’ written policy, the new Vermont law would govern. Under the new law, the employer may impose a one-year waiting period for new employees. These employees can accrue sick time during 2017, but they’re not permitted to use the time until completion of the one-year waiting period.