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Skoler, Abbott & Presser to Present Briefing on Sick-leave Law

SPRINGFIELD — Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., a labor and employment law firm serving the Greater Springfield area, announced an upcoming briefing, to be co-hosted by the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE), focused on the new Massachusetts sick-leave initiative. The event will take place Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Berkshire Bank Community Room in Pittsfield from 8 to 10 a.m.

The sold-out program demonstrates an extraordinary need to educate business owners and human-resource professionals about the change in law that will go into effect on July 1. Specifically, Massachusetts voters backed paid sick leave, which was a question on the ballot this past November. The law entitles employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year if they work for businesses with 11 or more employees; workers at smaller companies may earn 40 hours of annual unpaid sick time.

“Very rarely does an event sell out so quickly,” said Mark Adams, director of human resource solutions for EANE. “It’s a big indicator that this law will have a major impact on business here in Massachusetts. We like to stay on top of the most recent laws governing the workplace and are thrilled to see so many professionals learning more through EANE programs.”

Attorney Amelia Holstrom of Skoler Abbott will present the briefing as part of the firm’s partnership with EANE. She will provide answers to the most common questions about the new law, including:
• What does the law require?
• How is sick time earned?
• When do employees begin to earn this time?
• When can employees begin to use this time?
• What happens to unused sick time left over at the end of a calendar year?
• What can sick time be used for?
• Must employees give advanced notice before taking sick time?
• Can an employer require documentation when an employee uses sick time earned under this law?
• Does unused sick time need to be paid out when an employee leaves a company?
• Are there notice requirements?
• What are the penalties for non-compliance?

“At Skoler, Abbott & Presser, we specialize in these niche matters of employment and represent only the needs of employers,” said Holstrom. “This briefing is one of many resources we offer for business owners and human-resource professionals, and we are available to help employers navigate through the changes needed in order to stay in compliance with the law. Although the changes will not go into effect until July 1, the new year is a great time to re-evaluate sick-time policies and update professional protocol. We encourage all employers to become educated on the new law and make any necessary changes.”

Additional EANE forums for education about the new sick-time-leave initiative will be considered after further guidance is issued by the state Attorney General’s Office. The attorney general is expected to announce interpretations of the law between now and when it takes effect.

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