A List of States and Cities with Paid Sick Leave Laws

A List of States and Cities with Paid Sick Leave Laws

October 23, 2023
A List of States and Cities with Paid Sick Leave Laws

Here's what you need to know about this list of states and cities with paid sick leave laws:

  • Employers, especially those with business operations in more than one location, should be aware of the local, state, and federal sick leave laws with which they must comply.
  • Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia offer paid sick leave.
  • One of the latest trends in sick leave is the expansion of existing permanent sick leave requirements to include public health emergency leave.

Hint: Use the Find command (ctrl + F; ⌘ + F on a Mac) to search for specific states or cities.

A popular nationwide chain of Mexican-style fast-food restaurants recently agreed to pay $20 million to settle allegations by New York City authorities that it violated municipal law regarding workers’ rights to predictable schedules and paid sick leave. The agreement is the largest of its kind to date.

The settlement illustrates that employers, especially those with business operations in more than one location, should be aware of any local, state and federal sick leave laws with which they must comply. Of course, employers with leave policies that are more generous in terms of maximum accrual and reasons for taking leave are viewed as being in compliance with applicable leave laws. But are employers required to give sick days where you operate? And if so, what exactly does that mean? Is paid sick leave mandatory? What about sick leave for part-time employees, new hires or temps? There’s no blanket answer, as policies differ nationwide.

Currently in the United States, 22 states and the District of Columbia offer paid sick leave. Two states — Maine and Nevada — offer leave for any reason, as does Bernalillo County in New Mexico. More than 20 cities and counties currently have laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. Most of the cities that require paid sick leave are in California.

One of the latest trends in sick leave is the expansion of existing permanent sick leave requirements to include public health emergency leave. Prompted by COVID-19, many states have amended their sick leave laws to include such leave.

Where are sick days required by law to be granted?

Realized that sick days aren’t “mandated,” per se. But it can be mandated that they be permitted, to some extent, if and when they’re necessary.

This is a survey of U.S. sick laws, paid and unpaid, under city, county, state and federal law. Many jurisdictions also require family and medical leave, which, under the medical leave part, allows employees to take leave to attend to their own medical conditions. A short description of those laws is included in this list, but more details are provided in “The Definitive List of Leave Laws.”

Federal sick leave laws

While public sector workers get paid sick leave as part of their employment, the U.S. does not have a similar federal law requiring that the private sector provide paid sick leave unless they are federal contractors.

Unpaid medical leave for an employee’s serious health issue is available under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave if they have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months.

Sick leave laws by state

Where they exist at all, unpaid and paid sick leave laws by state and localities can vary. Hence, asking where are companies required to give sick days and do you get paid for sick days is not the same. And even in states with paid sick leave laws, sick leave for part-time employees vs. full-time may differ. Location by location, so will the specifics of other variables. Here’s a breakdown of states with paid sick leave laws, including many on local levels.

Arizona paid sick leave law

Arizona employers must provide paid sick leave to full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. The amount of leave depends on the employer’s size. Larger employers must provide 40 hours of leave each year. Smaller employers must provide 24 hours of paid sick leave each year.

Paid time off can be used for:

  • A worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • The care of a family member.
  • The care of an individual with whom the worker has the equivalent of a family relationship.
  • A public health emergency.
  • Domestic violence, a sexual offense, or stalking if the employee is a victim.

California paid sick leave laws

California has several sick leave requirements. All Golden State employers must offer one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The employee’s health condition.
  • The health condition of an employee’s family member.
  • Reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking if the employee is a victim.

Several cities in California also require that employers provide paid sick leave. In general, employers must comply with the law that offers more leave to employees.

Berkeley paid sick leave

Berkeley, California, employers must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked for all employees, including undocumented workers. Employers must provide either 48 or 72 hours of sick leave, depending on their size.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s physical or mental illness or injury.
  • The physical or mental condition of a family member.

Emeryville paid sick leave

Emeryville, California workers get one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers must provide 48 or 72 hours of leave, depending on their size.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s illness or condition.
  • A family member’s illness or condition.
  • The care of a service dog.
  • COVID-19 reasons, such as quarantine.
  • Instances where the worker is a victim of domestic violence.

The City of Los Angeles paid sick leave

Los Angeles employers must provide up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The employee’s care.
  • The care of a family member.
  • Public health reasons, such as quarantine or the temporary closure of the employee’s workplace.

Oakland paid sick leave

Oakland employers must provide employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Smaller businesses must offer at least 40 hours of paid sick leave, while larger companies must offer 72 hours of paid sick leave.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • A family member’s physical or mental illness.

San Diego paid sick leave

San Diego employers must provide each employee with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 80 hours. Employers can limit the use of the leave to 40 hours a year.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s medical care.
  • The medical care of a family member.
  • Public health emergency.
  • Domestic violence, a sexual offense or stalking.

San Francisco paid sick leave

Employers must provide one hour of paid sick leave to all full-time San Francisco employees. Smaller employers must provide 40 hours of leave, while larger employers must provide 72 hours of leave.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s physical or mental illness or injury.
  • The care of a family member.
  • COVID-19-related reasons, including quarantine or the employer temporarily closing based on a recommendation from a public health official.
  • Domestic violence, sexual offense or stalking.

San Francisco public health emergency leave requirement

Starting Oct. 1, 2022, Bay Area employers with 100 or more employees worldwide were required to provide 40 hours of paid leave during public health emergencies or when an air quality emergency has been declared. The requirement increased to 80 hours in 2023. The leave supplements San Francisco paid sick leave.

Santa Monica paid sick leave

Santa Monica employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours.

Employees can use the leave for:

  • The worker’s illness.
  • A family member’s illness.
  • Addressing domestic violence, sexual offense or stalking.

West Hollywood

Employers in the city of West Hollywood must offer both paid and unpaid leave. Businesses must provide up to 96 hours of paid time off for full-time employees over 12 months. Leave for part-time workers is prorated. Employers must provide an additional 80 hours of unpaid sick leave to full-time employees if the original leave is exhausted.

The paid leave can be taken for illness, vacation or personal necessity.

Colorado paid sick leave law

Colorado employers must provide two types of paid sick leave:

  1. General earned paid sick leave.
  2. Emergency paid sick leave.

Under the general earned paid sick leave requirement, all employers must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrual is capped at 48 hours of leave.

Allowable uses of the leave include:

  • The employee’s physical or mental health.
  • The care for a family member.
  • The closure of a business, school or care facility due to a public health emergency.
  • Domestic violence, harassment, or sexual abuse of the worker or a family member.

Full-time covered workers must be provided with 80 additional hours of sick leave. Part-time workers must be given an additional amount of sick leave that is equivalent to the amount of sick leave they usually receive. Colorado employers must also provide additional emergency paid sick leave when a public health emergency has been declared.

Medical leave

Colorado workers can also take job-protected, paid leave for their own serious health condition under the family and medical leave requirement set to go into effect in 2024. They don’t have to pay the employer portion of the premium, although their employees can choose to participate. There is a partial exemption for employers with fewer than 10 employees.

Connecticut paid sick leave law

Larger employers with more than 50 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The law applies to full-time and part-time workers.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • A worker’s physical or mental health.
  • A family member’s physical or mental health.
  • Family violence or sexual assault, including subsequent counseling and civil or criminal proceedings.

Connecticut paid family leave

Connecticut workers can also get up to 14 weeks of leave for their care under the state’s paid family leave program. Private sector organizations with one or more employees working in Connecticut, except those in private elementary or secondary schools, must comply.

Delaware paid family leave

Eligible workers can begin taking 12 weeks of paid, job-protected medical leave for a serious health condition in January 2026 as part of the state’s forthcoming family and medical leave law. Small businesses do not have to comply.

Illinois sick leave laws

Illinois doesn’t have a state-paid sick leave requirement. However, Chicago and Cook County require paid sick leave.

Chicago paid sick leave

All Chicago employers must provide employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Workers can take up to 40 hours of leave over 12 months.

The paid sick leave requirement includes:

  • Home health care workers.
  • Day laborers.
  • Tipped workers.
  • Domestic employees.

Immigration status does not matter.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s care.
  • The care of a family member.
  • During public health emergencies.
  • When the employee or family member is the victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Cook County paid sick leave

Cook County, Illinois, also has a paid sick leave requirement.

Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Workers can take up to 40 hours of leave over 12 months.

Sick leave can be taken for the same reasons allowed under Chicago’s law.

Maine paid leave

Maine’s paid leave requirement is slightly different. Paid time off can be taken for any reason. Maine employees earn one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. Workers can take up to 40 hours of leave a year. Small businesses don’t have to comply with the law.

Maryland paid sick leave law

Maryland employers must offer paid or unpaid sick leave depending on their size. Smaller employers must offer unpaid sick leave. Larger employers must offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

The leave can be used for:

  • The physical or mental health of the employee or a family member.
  • Maternity or paternity leave.
  • Addressing domestic violence or sexual assault of the employee or a family member.

Montgomery County paid sick leave

Employers in Montgomery County, Maryland, must provide paid sick leave. Employers with five or more employees must provide up to 56 hours per year of paid leave. Smaller employers with fewer than five employees must provide a mix of paid and unpaid leave, up to 56 hours per year.

The time off can be used for:

  • An employee’s or a family member’s mental or physical illness or injury.
  • Parental leave.
  • Public health emergencies, including childcare and workplace closures.
  • Matters related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Massachusetts paid sick leave law

Massachusetts workers get paid or unpaid sick leave depending on the company’s size. Employers with 11 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time a year. Employers with 10 or fewer employees must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time a year.

The sick time can be used for:

  • An employee’s illness.
  • The care of a family member.
  • Domestic violence matters.

Paid family and medical leave

Massachusetts workers can also qualify for 12 to 26 weeks of paid, job-protected medical leave under the state’s family and medical leave requirement for their own health condition. All employers must comply.

Michigan paid sick leave law

Michigan employers with 50 or more employees nationwide must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours an employee works up to 40 hours of accumulated leave per year.

Leave can be taken for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A worker’s physical or mental illness or that of a family member.
  • During a public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic violence and assault.

Minnesota leave laws

Minnesota does not have a state-required paid sick leave requirement. However, three of its cities require that employers provide such leave.

Duluth paid sick leave

Duluth workers earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 50 hours worked, up to 64 hours a year. Employers can limit time off to 40 hours a year.

The leave can be taken for:

  • The worker’s health issues or those of a family member.
  • A public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking.

Minneapolis paid sick leave

Minneapolis employees receive paid or unpaid sick leave depending on the company’s size. Employers with six or more employees must provide up to 48 hours of paid sick and safe time a year. Employers with five or fewer employees must provide up to 48 hours of unpaid sick leave a year.

Employees, including undocumented workers, earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

The leave can be used for:

  • The employee’s care or the care of a family member.
  • During a public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

St. Paul paid sick leave

St. Paul employers must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year.

The leave can be used for:

  • An employee’s illness or that of a family member.
  • A public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Nevada leave for any reason

Full-time employees qualify for Nevada’s paid leave for any reason benefit. Private employers with 50 or more employees in Nevada must provide 40 hours of paid leave a year.

New Jersey paid sick leave law

New Jersey employers must provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave a year.

The leave covers:

  • A worker’s illness or that of a family member.
  • Public health emergencies.
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

New Mexico paid sick leave laws

New Mexico workers can earn up to 64 hours of paid sick leave a year. Private employers with at least one employee working in the state must comply with this law. “Employee” is broadly defined and includes part-time, seasonal and temporary workers.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • A worker’s illness or that of a family member.
  • Certain legal and family issues.

Bernalillo County, New Mexico

All businesses with two employees or more must offer one hour of paid time off to all employees for any use for every 32 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours per year over three years.

The leave can be used for any reason.

New Mexico’s County was the first to approve such a law. Two other states, Nevada and Maine, have a similar “leave for any reason” law on their books.

New York paid sick leave laws

All private employers in New York must provide sick leave. However, some must provide paid sick leave, while others must provide unpaid sick leave. The size of the employer and its net income are the determining factors for the state leave requirement:

  • Paid sick leave must be offered by employers with five or more employees or a net income of more than $1 million.
  • Unpaid sick leave must be provided by employers with fewer than five employees and a net income of $1 million or less.

Workers earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrual is capped at:

  • 56 hours for employers with 100 or more employees.
  • 40 hours for employers with fewer than 100 employees.

Allowable uses of leave include for:

  • The employee’s health.
  • The care for a sick family member.
  • Matters involving domestic violence, sexual offense, stalking and human trafficking.

New York City paid sick leave

In addition to the state leave requirement, employers in the Big Apple must also provide sick leave. The time off must be paid in most instances.

Leave must be provided as follows:

  • Employers with 100 or more employees must provide them up to 56 hours of paid leave each calendar year.
  • Companies with five to 99 employees must provide them up to 40 hours of paid leave each calendar year.
  • Businesses with four or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million must provide employees up to 40 hours of unpaid leave each calendar year.

Most employees are covered, including domestic and undocumented workers.

Leave can be used for:

  • The employee’s mental or physical illness or injury.
  • A family member’s mental or physical illness or injury.
  • Addressing domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact and stalking issues.

Unlimited paid sick leave is available for New York first responders and other state employees who developed illnesses after working at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Westchester County paid sick leave

Domestic workers in Westchester County earn up to 40 hours of paid, job-protected sick leave a year.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • Recovery from a worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • Public health emergency.
  • The care of a family member.

Oregon paid sick leave laws

Like many other states, Oregon requires larger employers to provide paid sick leave. However, smaller employers must provide unpaid sick leave. In both instances, the leave must be job-protected.

  • All employers with 10 or more employees must provide job-protected, paid leave annually.
  • Smaller employers, those with fewer than 10 employees, must provide unpaid, job-protected leave.

Workers earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers can limit leave to 40 hours a year.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • The worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • The physical or mental illness of a family member.
  • Parental leave.
  • Public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Air quality emergency as determined by a public health official.

Oregon paid family and medical leave

Oregon workers can also use the medical leave portion of the state’s January 2023 family and medical leave requirement to care for their own illnesses. Employees can take up to 12 or 14 weeks off, depending on the reason. All private employers must comply.

Pennsylvania paid sick leave laws

There is no state-required sick leave in the Keystone state for private employers. However, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County require that private employers provide paid time off.

Allegheny County

Allegheny County employers with 26 or more employees provide up to 40 hours of sick leave each year. Covered workers earn one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked.

The leave can be used for:

  • A worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • A family member’s physical or mental illness.
  • Public health emergency.

Philadelphia paid sick leave

Mandatory sick leave is either paid or unpaid depending on the size of the employer in the City of Brotherly Love. Employers with 10 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while smaller businesses, those with fewer than 10 employees, must provide unpaid sick leave.

Employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked during a year up to 40 hours a year.

Permissible uses of leave include:

  • A worker’s mental or physical illness.
  • A family member’s mental or physical illness.
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking instances in which the worker or a family member is a victim.

Philadelphia Covid-19 paid leave

Philadelphia also has an additional COVID-19 sick leave requirement. Employers with 25 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of immediate, additional paid sick leave to eligible employees when they cannot work for COVID-19 reasons from Mar. 9, 2022, until Dec. 31, 2023.

Pittsburgh paid sick leave

Private employers in Pittsburgh must provide employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours of work. The maximum amount of leave offered depends on the size of the employer. Larger employers can cap leave at 40 hours a year. Smaller employers can cap leave at 24 hours a year.

Leave can be used for:

  • A worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • A family member’s physical or mental illness.
  • Public health emergencies.

Rhode Island paid sick leave law

Rhode Island has a paid and unpaid sick leave requirement depending on the size of the employer. Businesses with 18 or more employees must provide 40 hours a year of paid sick and safe days to workers who qualify. Smaller companies with fewer than 18 employees must provide 40 hours of unpaid leave.

Employees earn one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • A worker’s physical or mental illness.
  • A family member’s physical or mental illness.
  • Addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking issues involving the employee or a family member as a victim.

Vermont paid sick leave law

All employers in Vermont must provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

The paid time off can be used for:

  • A worker’s illness or injury.
  • A family member’s illness or injury.
  • Public health emergencies.
  • Addressing domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Virginia paid sick leave law

State-mandated sick leave is only available to healthcare workers in Virginia. Home health workers in the Old Dominion who average at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month can get up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. The workers can use the sick leave to care for themselves or family members.

Washington state paid sick leave laws

Washington employers must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave. Most workers are eligible for leave, although it specifically excludes executive managers, doctors, dentists and lawyers.

The leave can be used for:

  • The worker’s care.
  • The care of a family member.
  • The closure of a workplace by public officials for health-related reasons.
  • Domestic violence matters.

The cities of Seattle and Tacoma also have leave requirements for private employers.

Seattle paid sick leave

Seattle employers with at least one employee working in Seattle must provide paid sick leave. The amount of leave varies, depending on the size of the employer.

Seattle paid sick leave can be used for:

  • The worker’s illness or injury.
  • The illness or injury of a family member.
  • A public health emergency.
  • Reasons related to domestic or sexual violence and stalking.

Tacoma paid sick leave

Tacoma workers earn one hour for every 40 hours worked. All employees who work 80 hours or more inside the city limits must be provided with paid sick leave.

Allowable uses of leave include:

  • The employee’s illness or injury.
  • A family member’s illness or injury.
  • Public health emergency.
  • Addressing domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Bereavement.

Washington, D.C., paid sick leave law

District of Columbia employers must provide paid sick leave. The amount depends on the size of the employer and ranges from three to seven days a year.

Workers can use the leave to:

  • Care for themselves.
  • Care for a family member who is ill.
  • Address certain domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault matters.

Additional paid leave was available until Oct. 1, 2022, for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Washington, D.C., paid family leave

Employees in Washington, D.C., can also use the District’s paid family leave program to care for themselves unless the situation is excluded under the law. Workers can take between two to eight weeks, depending on the reason for leave.

Washington, D.C., unpaid family leave

Unpaid family leave is also available to D.C. workers under D.C.’s equivalent to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 16 weeks of medical leave over two years for a worker’s serious health condition.

Wisconsin unpaid family leave

Wisconsin employers with at least 50 employees must provide two weeks of unpaid leave for an employee’s qualifying serious health condition.

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