TITLE 28
Labor and Labor Relations

CHAPTER 28-57
Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act

SECTION 28-57-6


§ 28-57-6. Use of paid sick and safe leave time.

(a) Paid sick and safe leave time shall be provided to an employee by an employer for:

(1) An employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee's need for preventive medical care;

(2) Care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs preventive medical care;

(3) Closure of the employee's place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or an employee's need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or care for oneself or a family member when it has been determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider that the employee's or family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the employee or family member has actually contracted the communicable disease; or

(4) Time off needed when the employee or a member of the employee's family is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(b) Paid sick and safe leave time shall be provided upon the request of an employee. Such request may be made orally, in writing, by electronic means, or by any other means acceptable to the employer. When possible, the request shall include the expected duration of the absence.

(c) When the use of paid sick and safe leave time is foreseeable, the employee shall provide notice of the need for such time to the employer in advance of the use of the sick and safe leave time and shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the use of sick and safe leave time in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.

(d) An employer that requires notice of the need to use earned paid sick and safe leave time where the need is not foreseeable shall provide a written policy that contains procedures for the employee to provide notice. An employer that has not provided to the employee a copy of its written policy for providing such notice shall not deny earned paid sick and safe leave time to the employee based on non-compliance with such a policy.

(e) Unless otherwise in conflict with state or federal law or regulations, an employee may decide how much sick time to use; provided, however, that an employer may set a minimum increment for the use of sick time, not to exceed four (4) hours per day, provided such minimum increment is reasonable under the circumstances.

(f) For paid sick and safe leave time of more than three (3) consecutive work days, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the paid sick and safe leave time has been used for a purpose covered by subsection (a) of this section if the employer has notified the employee in writing of this requirement in advance of the employee's use of paid sick and safe time. An employer may not require that the documentation explain the nature of the illness or the details of the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking unless required by existing government regulation or law. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to conflict with existing government regulation or law.

(1) An employer may require written documentation for an employee's use of earned sick time that occurs within two (2) weeks prior to an employee's final scheduled day of work before termination of employment.

(2) Documentation signed by a health care professional indicating that paid sick leave time is necessary shall be considered reasonable documentation under subsection (a) of this section.

(3) One of the following, of the employee's choosing, shall be considered reasonable documentation of an absence under subsection (a)(4) of this section:

(i) An employee's written statement that the employee or the employee's family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and that the leave taken was for one of the purposes of § 28-57-6(a)(4);

(ii) A police report indicating that the employee or employee's family member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

(iii) A court document indicating that the employee or employee's family member is involved in legal action related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or

(iv) A signed statement from a victim and witness advocate affirming that the employee or employee's family member is receiving services from a victim services organization or is involved in legal action related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(g) An employer's requirements for verification may not result in an unreasonable burden or expense on the employee and may not exceed privacy or verification requirements otherwise established by law.

(h) Paid sick and safe leave cannot be used as an excuse to be late for work without an authorized purpose.

(i) If an employee is committing fraud or abuse by engaging in an activity that is not consistent with allowable purposes for paid sick and safe leave in this section, an employer may discipline the employee, up to and including termination of employment for misuse of sick leave.

(j) If an employee is exhibiting a clear pattern of taking leave on days just before or after a weekend, vacation, or holiday, an employer may discipline the employee for misuse of paid sick and safe leave, unless the employee provides reasonable documentation that the paid sick and safe leave time has been used for a purpose covered by subsection (a) of this section.

(k) An employer may not require, as a condition of providing earned paid sick and safe time under this chapter, that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which the employee is using paid sick and safe leave time. However, if an employee is absent from work for any reason listed in § 28-57-6(a) and by mutual consent of the employer and the employee the employee works an equivalent number of additional hours or shifts during the same or the next pay period as the hours or shifts not worked due to reasons listed in § 28-57-6(a), an employee shall not be required to use accrued and earned paid or unpaid sick time for the employee's absence during that time period, and the employer shall not be required to pay for sick time taken during the time period.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2017, ch. 347, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 357, § 1.)