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Vermont Legislature Passes Earned Sick Time Legislation

The Vermont legislature recently passed Act 69 of the 2015-16 Legislative Session, which provides “earned sick time” (“EST”) guarantees to certain employees. This Act will be codified in 21 V.S.A. §§ 481-86. Under the Act, an employee qualifies for EST if he or she works at least eighteen (18) hours per week on average and works at least twenty-one (21) weeks per year.

Beginning January 1, 2017, an employer must provide qualifying employees with at least 24 hours of EST per year. Beginning January 1, 2018, an employer must provide qualifying employees with at least 40 hours of EST per year.

The Act allows the employer to maintain an earned time off (“ETO”) system and to count any ETO hours granted to employees for purposes of satisfying the EST minimum requirements. The Act also allows employers to impose a waiting period whereby qualifying part-time employees accrue EST, but may only use the EST after December 31, 2017.