California Becomes Second State to Require Paid Sick Leave
October 8, 2014
On July 1, 2015, California will become the second state requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 applies to employees (exempt and non-exempt) who work in California 30 days or more in a year. It requires most public and private sector employers to provide employees with at least three paid sick days per year for a personal illness, a family member's health condition, or a leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
California employers should be mindful of the following:
Accrual: An employee must accrue paid sick days at the rate of at least one hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning on the first day of work or July 1, 2015. Generally, the workweek for exempt employees is 40 hours. Employers can limit accrual to six days, or 48 hours, per year.
Carryover: Accrued sick days carry over to the following year of employment, but employers may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to three days, or 24 hours, per year of employment.
Sick Leave: Employees will be entitled to use accrued sick time beginning on the 90th day of employment. An employee may take paid sick leave for a personal illness, a family member's health condition, or a leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Employees may use paid sick leave in minimum increments of two hours or more.
- Notice, Posting & Recordkeeping: Employers must provide employees with a written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available. In addition, employers must also display a poster in a conspicuous place telling employees about their sick leave rights. Employers must also maintain records of the hours worked and the paid sick days accrued and used by each employee.
Absent a few exceptions, the new law will affect most public and private employers. Employers that currently have sick leave policies may have to expand them to cover all employees. It is important that employers review their existing leave policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance when the new law takes effect on July 1, 2015.