Several state and local governments have been passing paid sick leave laws that may impact TCU members in those jurisdictions. For example, some of these laws require an employer in that jurisdiction to provide up to a certain number of days of paid sick leave, or that the employer allow employees to use accumulated sick leave for specified reasons other than their own illness.
None of these laws will affect the rules of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Indeed, in many cases, the CBA may have greater benefits than what is provided in these laws. However, some of these paid sick leave laws may apply to TCU members as well, granting them certain paid leave benefits beyond what’s been negotiated in the CBA. If a member believes they are eligible for these benefits, they should follow the procedures outlined in the law for enforcing their rights, much like a member does when enforcing other statutory rights like discrimination complaints that go to the EEOC. Many states will enforce these provisions through their local Department of Labor, or wage and hour department, or Attorney General.
Currently, freight railroads, Amtrak, commuter railroads and some transit agencies are not applying these laws to their employees. Moreover, in some places, the railroad industry is challenging these laws in Court. The union is monitoring this situation and will provide updates as the Courts begin to rule on the question.