Effective July 1, 2015, nearly all California employers will be required to provide at least three days of paid sick leave per year to their employees. The new law, AB 1522, also known as the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” was approved by the California Legislature on August 30, 2014 and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
The majority of employers will be required to provide paid sick leave under AB 1522 to all employee, including part-time, per diem, and temporary employees. However, the new law provides exceptions for:
- Providers of In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS);
- Flight deck or cabin crew members of air carriers subject to the Railway Labor Act; and
- Employees working under collective bargaining agreements, provided certain minimum requirements are met.
An employee qualifies for paid sick leave by working for an employer for at least 30 days within a year in California and by satisfying a 90 day employment period. The 90 day period works like a probationary period. Although you begin to accrue paid sick leave on July 1, 2015, or your first day of employment if you are hired after July 1, 2015, if you work less than 90 days for your employer, you are not entitled to take paid sick leave.
Employees will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. That works out to a little more than eight days a year for someone who works full time. But employers can limit the amount of paid sick leave you can take in one year to 24 hours.
The new law establishes a minimum requirement, but an employer can provide sick leave through its own plan or establish different plans for different categories of workers. However, each plan must satisfy the accrual, carryover, and use requirements of the law or put the full amount of leave into your leave bank at the beginning of each year in accordance with the Paid Time Off policy. If an employer provides a policy which exceeds the minimum requirements, including providing a specific cap, the policy must be clear as to the additional terms that apply to their employees.
DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A SICK LEAVE POLICY?
Does your business have policies regarding sick leave? Are you concerned that your policies may be impacted by the new rule? Have you recently reviewed your sick leave policies? Prior to establishing or modifying your policies, it would probably be advantageous to consult with an experienced employment law attorney.
Don’t wade through these choppy waters alone. For many years now, the attorneys at CKB VENNA LLP have provided employment/labor counseling and litigation services to nearly every type of business. Our team understands the complexity of the issues and stands ready to represent you aggressively. We have offices in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles. Contact us by telephone – 909-980-1040 – or complete our online form.