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House Bill 475 — Paid sick leave

House Bill 475 — Paid sick leave

Parrish Miller
February 14, 2020

Bill description: HB 475 places new mandates and regulations on employers related to their sick leave policies.

Rating: -3

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

HB 475 places several new mandates and regulations on employers concerning sick leave policies. 

The bill says, "It shall be unlawful for an employer that offers paid sick leave to its employees" to "count earned paid sick leave taken in accordance with the employer's written sick leave policy as an absence that may lead to or result in discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, or any other adverse action." 

It also makes it unlawful to restrict an employee from using earned sick leave for the employee's own mental or physical illness, injury, health condition, or need for medical diagnosis. The bill also makes it unlawful for an employer to restrict an employee from using earned sick leave to care for an immediate family member with such needs. It defines "immediate family member" as a spouse, child, or parent.


HB 475 further says that an employer who "requires notice of the need to use earned paid sick leave where the need is not foreseeable shall provide a written policy that contains procedures for the employee to provide notice. An employer that has not provided to the employee a copy of its written policy for providing such notice shall not deny earned paid sick leave to the employee based on noncompliance with such policy."


Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

HB 475 does not apply these new mandates and regulations equally to all businesses, stating, "All or any portion of the earned paid sick leave requirements of this section shall not apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement to the extent that such requirements are expressly waived in the collective bargaining agreement in clear and unambiguous terms." It is inequitable that a "valid collective bargaining agreement" is given a more favorable status than a simple contract between a single employee and an employer.


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