Missed Work Because of Coronavirus: Your Rights in Every State

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This guide was written by Jeff Ostrowski

Jeff Ostrowski A veteran business journalist, Jeff Ostrowski writes about money for the Palm Beach Post in Florida. Ostrowski is proud to say he knows how to use a financial calculator to amortize a mortgage.
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please reference the Word Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date medical information and comply with guidance set forth by your local officials.

While many Americans live in places that don’t require employers to provide paid sick leave, the novel COVID-19 virus has many wondering how they will manage financially if they have to take time off because of the illness. The proposed Family First Medical Coronavirus Response Act could help ease the burden on many people who do not have guaranteed paid sick leave. Workers for companies with more than 500 employees, however, may be subject to their company's individual policies.

With a global pandemic spreading, public health officials and the White House have instructed American workers to self-isolate if there’s a slight chance they could have the illness. “If you are sick or not feeling well, stay home,” President Trump said in a March 11, 2020 address. For employees who work remotely or receive generous sick leave, the instructions are simple to follow.

However, for service-sector workers who can’t work remotely, missing work gets tricky. And for service-sector workers who don’t have paid sick leave, calling in sick because of the coronavirus could mean missing a paycheck or even losing a job. There has been discussion of federal money being used to provide coronavirus paid leave, although details remain unclear. For now, states and municipalities regulate paid sick leave according to their own laws.

a woman who is quarantined at home because of coronavirus looks worried


States With Mandated Paid Sick Days

Alabama No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Alaska No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Alaska No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Arizona A state law that took effect in 2017 mandated paid sick leave for Arizonians. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employees whose place of business has 15 or more workers can accumulate and use up to 40 hours a year.

Employees of small businesses can accrue and use up to 24 hours a year. This law provided paid sick leave to nearly a million previously uncovered workers, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Arkansas No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
California California has some of the longest-standing and most extensive regulations around sick time. State law requires employers to award one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers at businesses with 15 or more employees can accrue and use up to 40 hours per year. All others can accrue and use up to 24 hours per year.

In addition, some cities — Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego and Santa Monica — offer more generous sick leave. In San Francisco, for instance, workers at large companies can accrue up to 72 hours of sick time, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Colorado No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Connecticut Under a state law that took effect in 2012, workers in businesses with 50 or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked and can accrue and use up to 40 hours at one time, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Delaware No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
District of Columbia Workers accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 37 to 87 hours worked and can accumulate and use three to seven days, depending on the employer’s size.
Florida No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Georgia No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Hawaii No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Idaho No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Illinois There’s no statewide law requiring paid sick leave, but Chicago and Cook County require employers to let workers accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked and accrue and use up to 40 hours.
Indiana No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Iowa No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Kansas No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Kentucky No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Louisiana No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Maine Maine has a paid time off (PTO) law that doesn’t mandate sick leave but does require PTO days that workers can use for vacation or sick time. Workers at businesses with more than 10 employees accrue one hour of paid time off for every 40 hours and can collect and use up to 40 hours.
Maryland No state law mandates sick leave, but an ordinance in Montgomery County does. Workers at businesses with five or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. They can accrue up to 56 hours and use up to 80 hours. Employees of smaller companies can accrue 32 paid and 24 unpaid hours.
Massachusetts Workers at businesses with 11 or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. They can accrue and use up to 40 hours.
Michigan Michigan has a paid time off (PTO) law that doesn’t mandate sick leave but does require PTO days that workers can use for vacation or sick time. Workers at businesses with 50 or more employees accrue one hour of paid medical leave time off for every 35 hours on the clock and can accrue and use up to 40 hours.
Minnesota There’s no statewide mandate, but Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth impose local requirements. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, workers accumulate one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and can collect up to 48 hours. In Duluth, employees of companies with five or more workers get an hour of leave for every 50 hours on the clock.
Mississippi No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Montana No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Missouri No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Nebraska No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Nevada Nevada has a paid time off (PTO) law that doesn’t mandate sick leave but does require PTO days that workers can use for vacation or sick time. Workers at businesses with 50 or more employees accrue .01923 of an hour of paid time off for every hour worked. They may accumulate and use up to 40 hours at one time.
New Hampshire No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
New Jersey Under state law, workers accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, and they can accrue up to 40 hours in a year.
New Mexico No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
New York There’s no state law mandating paid sick leave. In Westchester County, workers at businesses with five or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of work.
North Carolina No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
North Dakota No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Ohio No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Oklahoma No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Oregon Workers with 10 or more employees — and, in Portland, six or more — get one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and can accrue and use up to 40 hours.
Pennsylvania There’s no state law, but the two largest cities in the state mandate paid sick leave. In Philadelphia, workers at businesses with 10 or more employees collect one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work. They can accumulate and use up to 40 hours of sick leave. In Pittsburgh, companies with 15 or more employees must grant one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked. Workers can accrue up to 40 hours.
Rhode Island Workers at companies with 18 or more people on the payroll will pick up one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. They may accumulate and use up to 40 hours of sick pay at one time.
South Carolina No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
South Dakota No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Tennessee No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Texas There’s no state law mandating paid sick leave, but several cities have their own rules. In Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, workers accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of work. Employees at businesses with 15 or more employees can use up to 64 hours a year, while workers at smaller companies are limited to 48 hours a year.
Utah No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Vermont Workers collect one hour of paid sick time for every 52 hours worked and can accrue or use up to 40 hours.
Virginia No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Washington Under state law, workers get one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked. In Seattle, workers at companies with five or more people accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 to 40 hours worked and can use up to 40 to 108 hours, depending on the company’s size. In Tacoma, workers accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked and can accrue and use up to 24 hours.
West Virginia No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Wisconsin No state or local laws require paid sick leave.
Wyoming No state or local laws require paid sick leave.

Jeff Ostrowski is a veteran business writer who covers economic issues.

Sources

CNN. “These states have been hit the hardest by coronavirus. Here's what they're doing to fight the spread.” Accessed March 13, 2020.

National Partnership for Women & Families. “Paid Sick Days — State and District Statutes.” Accessed March 12, 2020.

The White House. “Remarks by President Trump in Address to Nation.” Accessed March 12, 2020.