A Closer Look at Paid Time Off

California recently passed a new law mandating that employees receive paid sick leave, making California one of only a handful of states to require paid leave for workers. In an attempt to manage staffing costs while still ensuring their workforce has the resources it needs, many employers have considered working with independent contractors.

With the growing number of workers who operate remotely or as freelancers, this may seem like a relatively easy change to make for your business. Since independent contractors are not technically employees of your company, you shouldn’t be required to provide paid leave, right?

To answer this question, however, you’ll need to understand how California’s employment laws, including the new paid sick leave rule, apply to independent contractors.

Understanding California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

California requires employees to start accruing paid sick leave time as of July 1, 2015, although employers can require employees to wait up to 90 days before using their accrued sick time. Employees must be able to accrue up to 48 hours of sick leave per year, or six eight-hour workdays. While employers can cap the amount of paid sick leave an employee takes during the year, they must also allow any unused time to “roll over” into the next year. Because calculating sick pay and determining how the time accrues can be subject to a wide range of variables, it is best for employers to consult with an experienced lawyer to determine which system will work best for their employees.

Employers who are considering working with independent contractors rather than conventional employees should also talk to a lawyer. Not only does the choice between employees and contractors have significant effects on your business, but it can also impact your employment law obligations and your tax obligations as well.

Sick Leave and Independent Contractors

California’s sick leave law does not require employers to provide paid sick leave to independent contractors paid on a 1099 basis.

However, if you work with independent contractors, it is essential to make sure that they are properly classified as contractors, not as employees. Because there is no “hard and fast” rule regarding when a worker falls into either of these categories, it is best to speak to a lawyer who can provide specialized advice about your particular situation.

Consult an Experienced California Employment Attorney

Operating a business can be challenging, confusing, and just downright difficult, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you ever do with your life. Having the right attorney –  one who understands how the law applies to your business – can make the difference between being a bastion of economic growth in your community and serious legal ramifications.

Whether you’re concerned about the possibility of litigation or you want to ensure you’re starting or operating your business in compliance with the law, the attorneys at CKB VIENNA LLP can help you identify the core problems you face and find ways to address them. To learn more, call one of our offices today or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

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