Main Family Sick Leave


§636. Family Sick Leave


Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.


“Employer” means a public or private employer with 25 or more employees. [2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW).]


“Immediate family member” means an employee’s child, spouse or parent. [2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW).]


“Paid leave” means time away from work by an employee for which the employee receives compensation, and is limited to sick time, vacation time, compensatory time and leave that is provided as an aggregate amount for use at the discretion of the employee for any of these same purposes. “Paid leave” does not include paid short-term or long-term disability, catastrophic leave or similar types of benefits. [2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Use of paid leave. If an employer, under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or employment policy, provides paid leave, then the employer shall allow an employee to use the paid leave for the care of an immediate family member who is ill as provided in this section.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Election of time; amount; process. An employer may adopt a policy limiting the number of hours of paid leave taken under this section, but in no case may the number of hours allowed be fewer than 40 hours for a 12-month period. An employee is not entitled under this section to use paid leave until that leave has been earned. An employee who receives more than one type of paid leave may elect which type and the amount of each of those types of paid leave to use, except that the employee’s election may be limited by a bona fide employment policy as long as the policy is uniformly applied to all employees at that workplace. An employer may require notice or verification of illness for leave taken pursuant to this section if such notice or verification is required when an employee takes leave because of the employee’s own illness. An employer may require an employee to specify that leave is taken pursuant to this section.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Relationship to collective bargaining. This section applies to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement unless the agreement provides paid leave benefits that are equal to or greater than those provided in this section.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Prohibited actions by employer. An employer may not discharge, demote, suspend, discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee or threaten to take any of these actions against an employee who exercises rights granted under this section or who files a complaint or testifies or assists in an action brought against the employer for a violation of this section. Nothing in this section prohibits an employer from taking employment action against an employee for taking leave that is not protected by this section or other applicable law.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Application of family medical leave requirements. For purposes of applying family medical leave requirements, the employer shall treat leave under this section in the same manner as the employer treats leave for a sick employee.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]


Enforcement; rules. The Department of Labor shall adopt rules to implement and enforce the provisions of this section, including rules regarding the receipt, investigation and prosecution of complaints brought under this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
[ 2005, c. 455, §1 (NEW) .]