Paid sick leave bill moves to House floor to be amended

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The bill as of Feb. 18 has been reported out of committee and recommended to move on to General Orders for amendment. 

A bill that would mandate that employers honor paid sick leave policies has moved to the Idaho House floor on Monday, Feb. 17 to be amended. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise), would prevent employers from punishing employees for taking earned paid sick leave. House Bill No. 475 aims to revise the current Idaho code regarding employees’ rights to leave. 

The current code, Chapter 9, Title 44, does not have guidelines restricting the punishment of employees for taking earned sick time.

Only public employers are required to provide paid sick leave; this bill, however, would encompass all employers, including private, who offer it. The bill would mandate that, if paid sick leave is offered, employers cannot punish employees for taking it, including disciplinary action, demotion, suspension or discharge, according to the bill. 

“I have heard from several constituents throughout my district that there is a loophole that employers have been using to not have to pay out fringe benefits,” Green said in a press release. “Employers who offer sick leave need to be held accountable to their promises. This legislation simply protects employees and ensures that they will be paid for a sick day that they earned through their company’s policy.”

The bill would encompass both paid sick leave for the employee as well as an immediate family who has been affected by physical or mental illness. 

Idaho has already seen a change to some of its paid time off policies. On Jan. 22, Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order to mandate employers to pay at least eight weeks of paid paternal leave for new parents. Read about the Families First Act here. 

 

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