As of 2015 there is no federal statute requiring employers to pay for sick leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act only requires employers to provide unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons. However, some states have their own sick leave laws.
The Family and Medical Leave Act only applies to certain employers and employees. It requires that the employer provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical emergencies, long-term health issues for the employee or her family, or the birth or adoption of a child, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A few states require certain employers to pay for sick leave, such as Massachusetts, which passed a paid sick leave law in 2014 by voter referendum, says the Society for Human Resource Management.