State of the Land – Paid Sick Leave

PaidSickLeave.BlogThe news is rife with calls for paid sick leave from president Obama, Congress, state legislatures and voters. The tide certainly seems to be in favor of PSL. As this movement is taking place at the federal, state, and local levels it can be very confusing for employers to know what to do. Accordingly, MSEC hopes members find this chart useful.

As of June 1, 2015, the following jurisdictions have adopted PSL laws:


Effective Date


July 1, 2015


January 1, 2012

District of Columbia

May 13, 2008


July 1, 2015 (transition relief has been approved)

Bloomfield, NJ

June 30, 2015*

East Orange, NJ

January 7, 2015

Eugene, OR

July 1, 2015*

Irvington, NJ

January 28, 2015

Jersey City, NJ

January 24, 2014

Los Angeles, CA

July 1, 2015*

Montclair, NJ

March 4, 2015

New York City, NY

April 1, 2014

Newark, NJ

May 29, 2014

Oakland, CA

March 2, 2015

Passaic, NJ

January 1, 2015

Paterson, NJ

January 8, 2015

Philadelphia, PA

May 13, 2015

Portland, OR

January 1, 2014

San Francisco, CA

February 5, 2007

Seattle, WA

September 1, 2012

Tacoma, WA

February 1, 2016*

Trenton, NJ

March 4, 2015

*Anticipated effective dates.

All of these laws have their own nuances, making it very challenging for employers. Additionally, employers with California employees need to navigate compliance with both city and state requirements, which can be very different. Multi-state employers may have to implement state-specific, or even city-specific, sick leave policies. 

The blanket term,“PSL laws” can be misleading. In a lot of instances, the employer is required to provide time off to employees who are victims of domestic violence or for other non-medical reasons. Some of these laws apply to all employers, regardless of size. In addition, these laws don’t uniformly define “work” for purposes of earning PSL in a particular jurisdiction. An employee who considers another state or another city their home work site may nevertheless earn PSL just by working some hours in the state or city that has PSL.

Opposition to PSL is growing. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin have enacted laws that ban municipalities from passing PSL laws. 

As always, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from MSEC attorneys as you navigate these laws.