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The Sick & Safe Leave Act starts on December 1 - Is your office prepared?

A few months ago, the city of San Antonio government presented the San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Act. The Act was met with significant resistance from San Antonio businesses and the act was placed on a temporary hold. The new version of the regulation has finally been released and will go live on December 1, 2019. Only a few weeks away, Nolan HCS is making itself available to help healthcare practices prepare.

There are a number of changes in this version of the act, most notably the removal of small business classifications that previously pushed back implementation deadlines for companies under 5 Full Time Employees. Additionally, this new version focuses on the ability of employees to take leave in times of illness or domestic violence situations. Below are some highlights of the legislation.

*All employers, regardless of size, are required to implement these regulations beginning on December 1, 2019. Earned sick leave can should be prorated for the month of December, if preloading.

*The Sick and Safe Leave requires 56 hours of earned sick leave per year. These hours can be preloaded at the beginning of the year or accrued at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave per 30 hours worked time.

*The earned sick leave can be carried over at the end of the year, and employees can continue to earn up to 56 hours of sick leave.

*Employers may include an eligibility period for earned sick leave, as is standard with other benefits, but is limited to 90 days.

*Employers may not ask for doctor’s note or excuses until the employee has missed three (3) consecutive days of work.

*Employers who suspect abuse may require documentation from the employee, but must have sufficient evidence to the abuse.

*A company can provide the safe and sick leave as a part of a PTO policy is acceptable, so long as it meets the 56 hour requirement.

These changes can have a serious impact on business in that operate in the San Antonio city limits and there is little time to prepare. Employers need to be sure that they have the proper signage for employees and updates made to handbooks, policy manuals and training for all managers. Nolan HCS is offering free 30 minute phone consultations to help answer questions in preparation for the go live. These can be scheduled on our website.

Below is the legislation in its entirety, as published by the City of San Antonio. At this time, there is no sign of another last minute objection to the legislation and companies should be prepared for the December 1 date.

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