As we enter in to 2021, I want to make you aware of a couple of new employment laws. These laws are to insure workers are able to continue to be paid when life’s challenges occur.  Many employers, especially small businesses, have not built these protections into their benefit structures.  Thankfully, Hilltop has included these protections through our Paid Time Off (PTO) and Extended Illness Bank (EIB) accruals.  However, the new laws have required some additional tweaks to our policies.

First is the Healthy Families and Workplace ACT (HF&W).  This act requires eligible Hilltoppers to accrue up to 48 hours of HF&W leave per year. The general purpose of these hours is to allow an employee paid leave to care for their own or a family member’s personal needs.  Hilltop’s current PTO accrual already surpasses this state law.  However, to simplify the process, we have changed the current accrual rates for first-year employees.  We increased the accrual rate and eliminated the PTO dumps that employees have received at 6-months and 12-months.  See the table below.

Hilltopper’s  Years of Service Accrual Rate Per Hour Worked Pay Period Accrual          (80 Hrs. Worked) Annual Accrual                              (2080 Hours Worked) Maximum PTO Bank
Less than 4 years 0.0847 6.776 176.176 240
Greater than 4 years 0.1038 8.304 215.904 240
PTO Breakdown Annual Accrual                              (2080 Hours Worked) HF&W / Vacation Vacation Holiday
Less than 4 years 176.176 48 80 48
Greater than 4 years 215.904 48 120 48


The Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) is the second new law.  This leave is enacted whenever the state or federal government declares a public health emergency and lasts until four weeks after the emergency is rescinded.  COVID has been declared as a current public health emergency.  Hilltop is required to supplement up to 80 hours of paid leave for individuals affected by the emergency.  Employees will be required to use their accrued EIB and PTO prior to Hilltop supplementing any remaining hours.

Both of these laws went into effect on January 1st and will take some time to smoothly implement.  Specific questions should be directed to your HR Business Partners.