Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., Presents Sick Leave Law Briefing Dec. 18

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., the leading labor and employment law firm serving the greater Springfield area, today announced an upcoming briefing that will be co-hosted by the Employment Association of the Northeast (EANE) focused on the new Massachusetts sick leave initiative. The event will take place Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Berkshire Bank Community Room in Pittsfield from 8 to 10 a.m. The sold-out program demonstrates an extraordinary need to educate business owners and human resource professionals about the change in law that will go into effect as of July 1. Specifically, Massachusetts voters backed paid sick leave, which was a question on the ballot this past November. The law entitles employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year if they work for businesses with 11 or more employees (smaller companies to earn 40 hours of annual unpaid sick time).

“Very rarely does an event sell out so quickly,” said Mark Adams, director of human resource solutions for EANE. “It’s a big indicator that this law will have a major impact on business here in Massachusetts. We like to stay on top of the most recent laws governing the workplace and are thrilled to see so many professionals learning more through EANE programs.”

Attorney Amelia J. Holstrom of Skoler Abbott will present the briefing as part of the firm’s partnership with EANE. She will provide answers to the most common questions about the new law including, but not limited to:
• What does the law require?
• How is sick time earned?
• When do employees begin to earn this time?
• When can employees begin to use this time?
• What happens to the time left over at the end of a calendar year that is not taken?
• What can the sick time be used for?
• Is advanced notice required to be given by an employee before sick time can be taken?
• Can an employer require documentation when an employee uses sick time earned under this law?
• Does unused sick time need to be paid out when an employee leaves a company?
• Are there notice requirements?
• What are the penalties for non-compliance?

“At Skoler, Abbott & Presser, we specialize in these niche matters of employment and represent only the needs of employers,” said Holstrom. “This briefing is one of many resources we offer for business owners and human resource professionals and we are available to help employers navigate through the changes needed in order to stay in compliance with the law. Although the changes will not go into effect until July 1, the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate sick time policies and update professional protocol. We encourage all employers to become educated on the new law and make any necessary changes.”

Additional forums for education about the new sick time leave initiative through EANE will be considered after any further guidance is issued by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. The attorney general is expected to announce interpretations of the law between now and when it takes effect.

Amelia J. Holstrom, an associate in the Springfield office, joined Skoler, Abbott, & Presser in 2012 after serving as a judicial law clerk to the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court, where she assisted with complex matters at all stages of litigation. Her practice is focused in labor law and employment litigation. Since joining the firm, Holstrom has assisted clients in remaining union-free, represented clients at arbitrations, and defended employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination claims, as well as actions arising under the Family Medical Leave Act and wage and hour law. Additionally, she frequently provides counsel to management regarding litigation avoidance strategies. Holstrom is a 2011 graduate of Western New England University School of Law, where she was the managing editor of the Western New England Law Review.

About Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
Founded in 1964, Skoler, Abbott & Presser is a boutique firm that exclusively practices labor and employment law and represents only the interests of management. The firm’s practice areas include all aspects of labor and employment law, including traditional labor law, contract negotiations, union avoidance, and arbitrations; employment litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies; employment counseling, policy review and training; and a wide range of other areas of the law related to the management of employees, including ERISA issues, reductions-in-force, compliance with state and federal employment statutes, and audits of human resources practices. The firm has 10 attorneys in its main Springfield office and two attorneys who practice of counsel to the firm, one of whom specializes in ERISA. In addition to its offices in Springfield and Worcester, Mass., the firm also has an extensive practice in Connecticut. Further information about Skoler, Abbott & Presser can be found on its website, skoler-abbott.com.

About the Employment Associate of the Northeast (EANE)
With more than a century devoted to creating successful workplaces, the Employers Association of the Northeast (EANE) provides talent, training and tools to retain, develop and engage employees. Our reach extends throughout the Northeast to over 900 organizations – from Fortune 1,000 companies to one employee – in industries including manufacturing, finance, health and human services, education and retail. With a staff of 20+ professionals, four offices in three states, and over a dozen training centers, we offer members a local connection with a national perspective. Learn more about EANE at eane.org.