Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 409 – Establishing Guaranteed Sick Time in Delaware

Here is a bill that was recently filed and will likely not get a hearing in the last two weeks of the session, so it won’t be going anywhere this session. But you can be sure it will be refiled next year.

House Bill 409, sponsored by State Representative Eric Morrision, requires all employers in the State, public and private, to provide employees with a minimum of 1 hour of earned sick time and safety leave for every 30 hours worked.

For employers with fewer than 10 employees, the time may be unpaid, job-protected time instead of paid time.

Accrued earned sick time and safety leave may be used by the employee for time off with pay at the employee’s regular wage and benefit rate to deal with the mental and physical health needs of either the employee or an employee’s family member and other specified purposes. Earned sick time and safety leave may also be used to address the consequences of domestic violence for such things as meeting with lawyers, obtaining services from victim service organizations, temporary relocation and the like.

Employers may cap the number of hours earned per year at 40, the carryover from one year to the next at 40 hours, and the maximum earned sick and safety leave at 80 hours. Employers may require employees to have been employed at least 90 days before they may take earned sick leave and safety time. Employers whose benefits packages already meet the minimum requirements of this Act are not required to offer anything additional.

Employers who violate the Act are subject to civil penalty of no less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee who complains to the Department that an employer has violated the Act.

House Bill 409 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Morrison, Dorsey Walker, Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Lambert, Osienski, Wilson-Anton
Pinkney, McBride, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend
Current Status: House Economic Everything 5/10/22

Representative Morrison: “The legislation is modeled after that of fourteen other states and D.C. HB 409 considers the needs of businesses, allowing employers to cap the number of hours an employee can accrue in a year, carry over into the next year, or have at any given time; require that a worker be employed for at least ninety days before using sick time; and allowing smaller businesses to offer unpaid job-protected hours instead of paid hours. Employees may use accrued time for illness or medical appointments and also for “safety leave” to help cope with or escape domestic violence situations.

Guaranteed sick time is good not just for employees but also for businesses. States that have passed similar legislation have shown high support from employers and no negative economic effects as a result. Employers granting employees sick time report higher job satisfaction, loyalty, and morale. Productivity is higher and employee turnover is lower. Many large employers already offer sick time. Smaller businesses offering sick time better allows those businesses to attract and retain quality employees and to compete against larger employers for workers. Sick time allows sick employees to stay home when they are sick, preventing the spread of illness in workplaces—a spread that otherwise causes more workers to become ill and not report to work, reducing productivity.

It is time for Delaware to join the 184 other nations, fourteen American states, and D.C. that guarantee their workers sick time.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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