Paid sick leave is sweeping the nation. Built into many of these new laws is also paid time off for a death and paid domestic violence leave. How does this effect your organization? Tune in and find out!
Who is our HR Superstar today? Hint: That’s what she said.
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Listen to Small Business Spoonfuls below:
SBS 010: MUST HR PROVIDE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS FOR PAID SICK LEAVE?
Small Business Spoonfuls is a twice a week Q&A with Lisa Smith providing the answers to questions you have about running your
small business. Hello, Hello, welcome to episode #10 of Small Business Spoonfuls. I m Lisa Smith, as always I am coming to you this
morning or this afternoon or whenever you are listening to this, you can tell I record in the mornings, can t you, coming to you from
I am so excited to be here today. I say that on every episode and I am going to have to find a new way to tell you how much I love
doing this podcast. In the meantime, let s just go with I m so excited. Today I have a question that is so timely and so amazing. It is
something that folks are dealing with all across the country. That is paid sick leave laws.
Oh my goodness, for years and years we have trained that paid time off is not governed under the law and paid time off is a choice that
an employer makes. They choose to give you vacation time. They choose to give you sick time off with pay, you know personal time off
and holiday time off, all that, even bereavement leave and so forth.
Even the Family and Medical Leave Act which allows for job protective time off to have babies, adopt children, take care of sick loved
ones, or your sick self, or whatever it is. That is all unpaid. There is no pay protection under FMLA. However, Secretary Perez from the
Department of Labor has been very clear that one of his big missions is to see the entire United States to come forward and require
employers of a certain size, maybe even of a smaller size, pay sick leave on some level.
This is very serious. On the 15th Day of June, which was just a few days ago from when I m recording this right now, we had Oregon
who became the 4th state to pass laws regarding paid sick leave. Now we have it in Oregon. Actually, we have it in more than 4 states.
Sometimes it is in the city level and not the state level. You will have to check your locality.
We have Oregon, California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, we have so many. I will think of some more as we are talking here. I
will put some links in the show notes so you can look at the states specifically and find where the localities are and see if this is
affecting you. Washington, DC has a law that they passed in 2014. We have so many of these coming to be.
The thing that is so interesting about this paid time off is it is called paid sick leave or it is being paid family leave in some cases. This is
really encompassing more than just being sick. We think of having a sick day as (coughing), I can t come to work today, I m sick and
you get that paid day off. This is more like encompassing the things under family and medical leave and then some states are even
throwing in extra added goodies. In the, I believe it s the Oregon law, the employee can have time off if they are sick, if they have a sick
family member, giving birth, adopting a child, all those kind of FMLA stuff and then they also threw in, which I thought was quite
wonderful, and most people will not know about this, domestic violence leave.
There are several states that have domestic violence leave laws written in one form or another. It could be straight up domestic
violence or it could be victims of crime, sexual assault, that type of thing. Nevertheless, there are many, many states that have those
leave laws. Then they also in Oregon, threw in bereavement leave, yes, and that is under the sick leave law.
As employers, we have to go in there and read these laws. We have to have a good source to get the details from. A good trusted
attorney, consultant, maybe you go to a website to get your trusted information. Whatever it is you need to make sure you are getting
your info from the correct source and you are using the Rule of 3 s that I promote so heavily, where you are checking everything 3 times
through credible sources.
Get that answer and make sure that answer is straight and not just some answer that tickles your ears. We don t want just the answer
we want, we want the right answer. Keep that in mind because this is getting pretty crazy. We definitely want to make sure that as
employers we are doing it right.
When I say getting crazy, that s wonderful for an employee, for a worker, and it is going to be great for the family in general across
America, but small businesses are going to start to have extra expenses with these new laws coming in to act. Again, this is not in
every city and not in every state across the union, so you may be in Georgia like me or Texas, and we don t have those laws yet.
The word yet is heavily stressed, because like I said, the Department of Labor is pushing hard for this to be a nationwide thing and as
quickly as states and cities seem to be coming on board, I don t think it s going to take very long to reach this goal of a nationwide paid
sick time off statute. As always, they are going to be based on the number of employees you have and all that.
Watch out for that, because smaller employers may not have to comply but even an employer with 15 individuals or 25 individuals may
fall under some of these laws. One of the states has it with 11 individuals. Make sure we really look out for that and we see what is
covered and we don t just take it for granted that when we hear the law is called paid sick time, no that is possibly going to encompass
things that you don t think of under sick time.
Like for instance, like I mentioned, bereavement leave, and domestic violence laws and just a variety of other items that they might
throw in. Every state has been a little bit different on this. If we do come out with a federal law, we have to see exactly how that federal
law reads. I will keep you posted as that begins to emerge through the coming months and maybe even years.
Definitely keep your ears open, especially for you larger employers. If you have 50 or more employees, really watch this transition.
Even an employer with 50 employees is not really considered a large employer and you are still possibly going to have struggles with
implementing policies of this nature when it comes to paying folks for time off that you didn t expect to previously.
Look out for that. That is definitely a hot topic these days. Like I said, check the show notes. You are going to see some links where
you can go out and find the specifics on the leave laws in the various areas right now. Then if you are in New York State, you will want
to go in and see what exactly the laws are for New York City as opposed to maybe another city in New York or the same thing in New
Each locale is coming up with their own version of this in many areas, so there may not be a state law but there are local laws. We
haven t dealt much with local laws in the past, at least on the wage an hour type level. We are now really beginning to see that become
a thing. Some of these laws only affect public employers which would mean if you work for the city, the county, the state, any sort of a
government entity you would be covered, but maybe a private sector employer would not have to observe those same laws.
Make sure that you read the law thoroughly and you don t make the mistake of thinking something is only for the public sector, when
really it covers the private sector or vice versa. Maybe it covers both and you think it only covers the public. Make sure you really dive
in. We are going to be getting more information on this out to you at beauditsecure.com.
You know if you are one of our members and you are a member of Audit Secure Authority, you have the right to write, the ability to write
in to our support at beauditsecure.com email address and ask us questions about your specific situation. We won t talk to you in
generalities then, we will talk to you on a one on one specific level. We will respond to that email with the answer to your question as
best we can.
We do not offer legal advice but we will offer you guidance and show you the links to the places you need to go to read it for yourself in
many different areas and decide on those best practices. We are going to help guide you, but again, not legal advice. The only
organization or only entity you can get legal advice from is the lawyer you pay. Even the federal government, state government is not
considered legal advice.
You do have some protections in the event of an audit if you can point to a law that says I read this on the website and I can show you
that and it is not just hearsay, I can actually show you and point to it. You have protections there but none of that is considered legal
advice. All government websites have disclaimers on them stating that we are held harmless basically for your decisions based on
what you read here.
The only legal advice comes from the attorney you pay, always keep that in mind. That being said, beauditsecure.com in that instance
is very reliable and on the same level as a government website because it is valid information from a professional, from a group of
experts, still not legal advice. You have to have the rule of 3 s so in lieu of paying for an attorney, which you may do if you have a large
enough business, but in lieu of that you need to have 3 credible sources that are giving you the same information.
Whether you like the answer or not, it doesn t matter. It is the information that you have done the research and now you believe this is
the truth. Sometimes that is in your favor and sometimes it is not. We are not going to sugar coat things at beauditsecure.com. We
are not going to give you the answer that we think works for your business. We are going to give you the right answer.
Then you can decide from there what to do with that right answer, and you can continue to consult other sources as well to make sure
that you feel comfortable with the decision you make. Come on over, write us that email, support at beauditsecure.com and if you are
one of our Audit Secure Authority users, you are going to get the access to us and we will answer those questions.
Please keep that in mind. We also have an email list here at smallbusinessspoonfuls.com. Please go there and join our email list. We
are going to give you updates and really good helpful information as breaking news becomes available. We are going to give you some
of that. Of course at beauditsecure.com, we have breaking news and then for the inside folks who have paid for a membership to be on
our website, we have great detailed breaking news as it becomes available.
Keep that in mind. We are here to help you. We want you to be successful in your small business. Watch out for those paid sick leave
laws. The question, basically, I did not even read it, but it was must we provide paid sick leave, because the person who wrote in heard
this was becoming law. No, it is not becoming federal law yet but there are a few states in several localities that have gone this
Again, check the show notes and you will get all of those specifics there. Thanks for writing that question in and we will send you a t-
shirt. It is a very important question. We have all got to keep an eye on this. Especially keep an eye on the extra things that are thrown
in. It is not just about sick leave.
It is about all kinds of types of leave and we have to have written policies and procedures and we have to have standard operating
procedures of how we are going to execute this new guideline or maybe we just go ahead and set a guideline in our business for how
we handle these things right now until they are mandatory. Whatever it is, have it in writing.
Be able to show it to the employee and have them sign off that they have received it. All policies and procedures must be written and
acknowledged by your workers if you plan to ever have a prayer of defending it in court or before an auditing agency or inspecting
agency. We are looking forward to hearing more about paid time off as we go especially these new sick leave laws. Keep your eyes
and ears open because we are going to be bringing that to you as the news break.
Okay, let s move into the fun section of the episode here which is HR Superstar. Today s HR Superstar glass breaking moment goes
out to a TV show that s been off the air for a couple of years now, but one that most of us all knew and a lot of us loved. The Office.
We know Michael Scott was the fearless leader of the office. We had one of the most diverse office settings that you will find for such a
small organization. The folks who wrote The Office tried to portray various races, cultures, backgrounds, sexual orientations, so many
personal live situations that were going on in that small setting.
Poor Toby, the HR guy, was the one who was always hated by everyone, especially Michael Scott, but Toby was the one who was
hated in the office. He tried to steer them in the right direction. He tried to tell them how to do it right. No one wanted to listen to Toby,
especially Michael Scott. Check the show notes because I ve got this video that is on YouTube that someone put together to do
diversity training and show you what not to do. It is just the funniest little video.
Very offensive if it were at a real life environment. Michael Scott is doing diversity training. In one section of one of the videos I
watched on YouTube, which you can go on there and see many of them, Michael Scott is doing diversity training where everyone has
to pick a card and it has an ethnic origin or religion or race or something written on it and you can t look at it, you just have to stick it to
The other people in the room have to come around and describe to you the stereotypes of this religion or ethnic origin or race until you
guess what it is. Rest assured, that is not the way you would ever conduct training in your organization. Please don t try that at home.
Watch the funny videos because they really, really show us what not to do.
They really show us what is inappropriate and it is obvious that it is inappropriate and the way The Office presented it was not at all
meant to be taken seriously, but really to show you what an idiot Michael Scott was and what a poor leader he was when it comes to
many things but HR specifically.
Our glass breaking thumbs down moment goes to The Office and specifically Michael Scott, although he thought he was not racist and
he thought he was correct in the way he operated his business, he was way off base. Check the show notes, watch that video and
figure out for yourself. Have a little giggle and remind yourselves of what not to do. Don t be a Michael Scott in your office.
Alright then, that is our episode for today. Don t you love it when I sing to you? The answer to that was probably no. Anyway, thanks
for tuning in. Stop by smallbusinesspoonfuls.com and leave me a voice message on speak pipe and when I answer your question,
respond to your message on air, you will get one of our t-shirts and I am super excited to send that to you.
Until next time, I m Lisa Smith. Be Audit Secure, you guys. I m out.
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