Earned Sick Leave

Earned sick leave laws

Earned sick leave laws require employers to allow people to take paid time off for illness or injury for themselves or their family members. The quality of cities’ policies is linked to how many family members and what size employer are covered by the law, as well as the number of hours people can earn. Done well, these policies reduce the spread of contagious illnesses, increase employment and income stability, and save cities money in health care costs.

Our assessment of earned sick leave policies includes information about city-specific laws, along with the relevant county- and state-level laws that affect them. This cross-sectional dataset displays laws valid through March 1, 2020, including those passed but not effective until later dates.

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The state of earned sick leave policies in big US cities

Twenty-four out of 40 cities received a medal for earned sick leave policies, including six golds, six silver, and 12 bronze.


Out of the nation’s 40 largest cities

  • Measuring big cities’ earned sick leave policies

    How did we award earned sick leave policy medals?

  • City has an earned sick leave law

  • Employee can use earned sick leave to care for family members

  • Employee can use earned sick leave for domestic violence recovery

  • Minimum amount of earned sick leave time employee can earn

  • ≥ 40 hours
  • ≥ 48 hours
  • Smallest business size covered under earned sick leave law

  • 1 employee