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Benefits Administration

Paid Sick Leave Laws By State for 2022

One Minute Takeaway

  • The U.S. doesn’t have an overarching paid sick leave law.
  • Many states and municipalities have enacted their own laws, creating a patchwork of regulations for HR to manage.
  • Some state leave laws also provide time off for victims of domestic and sexual violence or stalking.

Everyone, at one time or another, has worked with that person who comes to work with a bad cold. Not only is it annoying, but it also jeopardizes the health of other employees. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe co-worker came to work because they didn’t have enough paid sick time available and wouldn’t get paid for a missed day or two.

Compliance with State and Municipality Sick Leaves

In the past, granting paid sick leave was at the employer’s discretion in the private sector. While employees are covered for long-term leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), there’s no federal paid sick leave act that requires a private employer to pay for short-term illness. We’re seeing a growing movement of laws being created at state and local levels designed to protect employees who might be forced to choose between going to work sick and infecting their co-workers, or calling in sick and potentially losing pay and, in the worst-case scenario, even their jobs.

Some cities such as Los Angeles have further expanded the definition for family members who are covered under an employer’s sick leave policies: “An employee’s child, spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, and any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

Private employers in more than a dozen states, plus 2 dozen municipalities across the U.S. are required to provide some form of paid sick leave to an eligible employee. If you have employees in any state or municipality that has paid sick leave laws, you should take every step possible to help ensure you’re in compliance with those laws. Your job is even more difficult if your company does business in multiple states or localities, each of which may have their own paid sick leave laws.

With so many different rules, it’s important to understand the nuances of each law and determine how the laws work together (or don’t) so you can write appropriate leave policies, establish procedures, and guide your management teams.

How to Craft a Paid Sick Leave Policy

If you do have to follow paid sick leave requirements, 1 of the main decisions you’ll need to make is whether your employees will accrue their paid sick time based on the number of hours they work each week or if they will draw from a bank of sick time that is frontloaded at the start of every year. If you have multiple locations, you’ll also need to decide if you will apply a single policy to every location or if you will apply different policies for each state or municipality that your employees work in.

Many paid sick leave laws also include “safe time” or “safe leave” provisions, which provide paid sick leave entitlements to employees affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Under these laws, an employee may be allowed to take leave not only to get medical care but also to attend court proceedings, move, go to counseling appointments, or receive services from a victim’s services group.

Employees are typically protected from any employer retaliation when asking for or using their sick leave hours. So, it’s critical that your managers not only understand the laws and any procedures they’re required to follow when an employee submits a sick leave request, but also understand that any negative reaction to a request could be viewed as retaliatory in nature.

Which states have mandatory paid sick leave?

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C. have mandatory paid sick leave laws.

Are employers required to give ALL employees paid sick leave?

No. Paid sick leave depends on the state or municipality.

What’s the difference between an exempt and non-exempt employee?

The main difference between exempt and non-exempt employees is eligibility for overtime pay. Exempt employees are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and do not receive overtime pay, while non-exempt employees can.

What do paid sick leave laws do?

Paid sick leave laws enable covered employees to take paid time off for medical care for themselves, a family member, or in some states, a close friend.

State Paid Sick Leave Laws

The following is a high-level overview of paid sick leave laws by state for private sector employers. Keep in mind this list is not inclusive of every state law; there are many more nuances to understand and comply with. States that are omitted do not have laws regulating paid time off.

State / City / MunicipalityCovered Employers & EmployeesMax Usage Per Year & AccrualsQualifying Reasons
ArizonaAll/All40 hours (employers with 15+ employees) or 24 hours (employers with fewer than 15 employees)

1 hour for every 30 hours worked
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
CaliforniaEmployers with 1 or more employees who work more than 30 days in a year in California.

Employees who work 30 or more days per year in California for the same employer
24 hours or 3 days per year

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may use alternate accrual methods or frontload the full amount of time at the beginning of the calendar year. Annual accrual cap is 48 hours or 6 days.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.

Berkeley, CAAll employers

Employees who work at least 2 hours per calendar week in the City of Berkeley and are entitled to the state minimum wage or participate in a Welfare-to-Work Program
48 hours (employers with 24 or fewer employees); employers with 25+ employees may not cap usage.

1 hour for every 30 hours worked capped at 72 hours (but no max annual usage) 48 hours accrual/usage cap if less than 24 employees.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care.
Emeryville, CAAll employers

Employees who work at least 2 hours per calendar week in the City of Emeryville and are entitled to the state minimum wage
48 hours (employers with 55 or fewer employees) or 72 hours (employers with 56 or more employees)

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Frontloading is allowed. Annual accrual cap is 48 hours (employers with 55 or fewer employees); 72 hours (employers with 56+ employees).
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence against the employee; to aid or care for a service dog.
Los Angeles, CAAll employers

All employees who have worked at least 2 hours in a particular week for the same employer for 30 days or more
Up to 48 hours per year

1 hour for every 30 hours worked
Illness for employee, family member, or any individual related by blood or affinity.
Oakland, CAAll/All72 hours; 40 hours if 9 or fewer employees

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours (employers with fewer than 10 employees); 72 hours (employers of 10 or more employees).
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive care.
San Diego, CAAll/All40 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 80 hours.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
San Francisco, CAAll/AllNo cap

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 10+ employees –up to 72 hours. Employers with 1-9 employees –up to 48 hours.

Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
Santa Monica, CAAll employers

All employees who work at least 2 hours in a particular week in the City of Santa Monica and are entitled to the state minimum wage.
N/A

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Accrual cap is 40 hours (employers with 25 or fewer employees); 72 hours (employers with 26+ employees).
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.
ColoradoEmployers with at least 16 employees

Employees who work at businesses with at least 16 employees
Up to 48 hours per year; 48 hours can be carried over each year

1 hour for every 30 hours worked
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive care; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence.
ConnecticutEmployers with 50 or more employees

Employees who work at businesses with at least 50 employees
Max 40 hours carry/use per year

1 hour for every 40 hours worked up to 40 hours max per year.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive care; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence.
Washington D.C.All/All7 days (employers with 100+ employees); 5 days (employers with 25-99 employees); 3 days (employers with 24 or fewer employees)

1 hour for every 37 hours worked (employers with 100+ employees); 1 hour for every 43 hours worked (employers with 25-99 employees); 1 hour for every 87 hours worked (employers with 24 or fewer employees). Annual accrual cap is 7 days (employers with 100+ employees); 5 days (employers with 25-99 employees); 3 days (employers with 24 or fewer employees).
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
Chicago, ILEmployers with at least 1 covered employee that maintain a business facility in Chicago and/or are subject to 1 or more of Chicago’s licensing requirements.

Employees who work at least 2 hours in Chicago in any particular 2-week period and who work at least 80 hours in Chicago within any 120-day period.

Half of unused sick leave up to 20 hours (rounded up). If FMLA eligible, employee may carry over an additional 40 hours only for FMLA leave.

1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
Cook County, ILAny employer with an employee working at least 2 hours in Cook County BUT municipalities may opt-out.

Employees who work at least 2 hours in any particular 2-week period and who work at least 80 hours in Cook County within any 120-day period.
Half of unused sick leave up to 20 hours (rounded up). If FMLA eligible, employee may carry over an additional 40 hours only for FMLA leave.

1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
MaineEmployers with 10+ employees

All employees who work for covered employers accrue leave but aren’t eligible to take it until 120 consecutive days of employment

Up to 40 hours per year

1 hour for every 40 hours worked
Employee’s or family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.
MarylandEmployers with 15+ employees except if covered by local ordinance

Employees who work at least 12 hours per week
64 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours max per year OR employer can choose to award 40 hours at the beginning of the year
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; maternity or paternity leave; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Montgomery County, MDAll

Employees who work more than 8 hours per week in Montgomery County.
80 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked in Montgomery County. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 56 paid hours (employers with 5+ employees) or 32 paid hours and 24 unpaid hours (employers with fewer than 5 employees).
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; care for a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed child within 1 year of birth, adoption, or placement.; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
MassachusettsAll employers. Local governments and those with fewer than 11 employees may provide unpaid leave.

All employees

40 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours. 40 hours may be carried over.
Employee’s or immediate family member’s health condition; need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence.
MichiganEmployers with 50 or more employees

Employees who work at least 25 hours per week, who work at least 26 weeks per year for a job scheduled for at least 26 weeks, and whose primary work location is in Michigan
40 hours

1 hour for every 35 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; maternity or paternity leave; reasons related to domestic violence or sexual assault; exposure to communicable disease.
Duluth, MNEmployers with 5+ employees (regardless of where they work)

Employees who work at least 80 hours a year in Duluth
N/A

1 hour for every 50 hours worked
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking for themselves, a family member, or roommate.

Minneapolis, MNEmployers with 6+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 6)

Employees who work at least 80 hours a year within Minneapolis
40 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Annual accrual cap is 48 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence. Family member place-of-care closure.
Saint Paul, MNEmployers with 1 or more employees that have a physical location in Saint Paul

Employees who work at least 80 hours a year within Saint Paul
N/A

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Annual accrual cap is 48 hours. Employees can carry over up to 80 hours per year.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence. Family member place-of-care closure.
NevadaEmployers in business for at least 2 years, with 50+ employees in the state

Employees of businesses with 50+ employees in the state
Employer may limit to 40 hours

0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour worked
Any reason
New JerseyAll employers with workers in the state

All employees working for an employer in the state
40 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; school conference; meeting regarding a child’s health or disability; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence.
New YorkPrivate sector employers with 5+ employees or net income of more than $1 million

All employees of private sector employers with 5+ employees or net income of more than $1 million
Employers with 100+ employees: up to 56 hours.
Employers with 5–99 employees: up to 40 hours.

Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of greater than $1 million: up to 40 hours.

Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less:

up to 40 hours unpaid.


1 hour for every 30 hours worked; frontloading is permitted.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence.
New York City, NYPrivate employer with 5+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 5) or 1 or more domestic workers

Employees and domestic workers who work more than 80 hours a year in New York City. Domestic workers must also work for the same employer for 1 year.
40 hours; 2 days for domestic workers.

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; reasons related to family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking.
Westchester County, NYEmployers with 5+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 5) or 1 or more domestic workers

Employees and domestic workers who work more than 80 hours a year in Westchester County
40 hours; 2 days for domestic workers

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; exposure to communicable disease.
New Mexico (eff. 7/1/22)Private employer with at least 1 employee

All employees of private employers
64 hours per 12-month period



1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees can carry over unused sick leave.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; school conference; meeting regarding a child’s health or disability; reasons related to domestic or sexual violence.
Unincorporated Bernalillo County, NMEmployers in unincorporated Bernalillo County with 2+ employees

Employees who work at least 56 hours per year for an employer located in unincorporated Bernalillo County
1 hour for every 32 hours worked (Up to 56 hours per year, eff. 7/1/22)Any reason
OregonEmployers with 10+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 10) or employers in large cities (500,000+ population) with 6+ employees anywhere in the state (unpaid if fewer than 6)

All employees of companies with 10+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 10) or employers in large cities (500,000+ population) with 6+ employees anywhere in the state (unpaid if fewer than 6)
40 hours

1 hour for every 30 hours worked or 1.33 hour for every 40 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; employee’s or family member’s serious health condition; to care for a child who does not have a serious health condition but needs home care; reasons related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking; bereavement; donation to co-worker if allowed by employer.

Philadelphia, PAEmployers with 10+ employees (unpaid if fewer than 10) and chain establishments regardless of size

Employees who work at least 40 hours a year in Philadelphia
40 hours; 2 days for domestic workers

1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to stalking, domestic or sexual violence.

Rhode IslandEmployers with 18+ employees in Rhode Island

All employees whose primary place of employment is in Rhode Island
40 hours

1 hour for every 35 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; exposure to communicable disease; reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
VermontAll employers doing business or operating in the state

Employees who work for an average of no less than 18 hours per week during a year
40 hours

1 hour for every 52 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. Annual accrual cap is 40 hours.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury, or condition; preventive care; to accompany a family member to an appointment related to long-term care; reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; when a family member’s school or business is closed for public health or safety reasons.
WashingtonAll/AllN/A

1 hour for every 40 hours worked. No annual accrual.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.
Seattle, WAAll employers

All employees who work in Seattle. Employees who work on an occasional basis in Seattle must work more than 240 hours in Seattle in a year.
N/A

1 hour for every 40 hours worked (employers with 1-249 full-time equivalent employees); 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (employers with 250 or more full-time equivalent employees). No annual accrual.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.
Tacoma, WAAll employers

Employees who work more than 80 hours in Tacoma in a year
N/A

1 hour for every 40 hours worked (employers with 1-249 full-time equivalent employees); 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (employers with 250+ full-time equivalent employees). No annual accrual.
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking; bereavement.