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Did you know most employees in Massachusetts can earn and use up to 40 hours of sick time per year, keeping their job protected?

Workers can use this time to care for themselves, children, spouses, parents or in-laws. Employers with 11 or more employees are even required to pay for this time.

How is sick time “earned”? For every 30 hours worked, one hour of sick time is earned. So after 1,200 hours of work, an employee earns a full 40 hours of sick time.

Who is not eligible? Independent Contractors, federal employees, certain students and folks younger than 20.

Is there a minimum amount of hours required? No. Part-time employees qualify, too.

What if I live in New Hampshire? As long as your primary place of work is located in Massachusetts, this law applies to you.

Can an employer request written proof of the medical circumstance? Yes, if the time off totals more than 24 consecutive hours or three days total.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real-estate law, estate planning and small-business formation at 790 Boston Road, Billerica. Contact him with questions at www.hlawoffice.com; 978-671-0711 or email him at james@hlawoffice.com.