The National Trend Toward Paid Sick Leave Laws

By John Mavros Attorney at Law, Partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP | May 06, 2018

Co-authored by Lauren Stockunas, Associate, Fisher Phillips LLP

While all employers strive to maintain a healthy workforce, complying with the new Paid Sick Leave ("PSL") laws that are sweeping the country can make even the savviest human resources manager's head spin.  And while Congress continues to forgo passing a national PSL law, individual states and cities are taking initiative.  These viral PSL laws make drafting and implementing a uniform-all-inclusive PTO ("Paid Time Off")/PSL policy across multiple hotel and resort locations exceedingly difficult.  This article will try to help hoteliers make sense of the confusion. 

The varying laws in different jurisdictions can make compliance difficult for hoteliers with multiple properties.  Here is a snapshot of the state of PSL laws across the country:

On the other end of the spectrum, certain states have actually prohibited counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions from establishing paid sick leave requirements for private employers.  These include:  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Although each state and local law is unique, they typically address and/or define the following PSL concepts/terms including:  eligible employees, an accrual formula, reasons for leave, carry over requirements, rate of pay information, and employee and employer notice requirements.  The problem is that each law defines them differently.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.