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Calif.'s Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect in 2015

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on September 11, 2014 11:25 AM

A new law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown will require most employers to give workers at least three paid sick days a year.

The governor's signature on the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 will provide paid sick leave to over 6 million workers starting in July 2015, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Here's what California business owners need to know:

Who's Eligible?

California's new rules on paid sick leave are found in the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act and will apply to any employee who works in California for 30 or more days in a year, meaning that the law will apply to both full and part-time workers.

The new rules won't apply to workers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements that provide for paid sick days or paid time off. The rules also won't apply to workers in certain industries such as air crew members, in-home supportive services providers, or construction industry employees covered by certain collective bargaining agreements.

How Does It Work?

According to the law, employees will accrue paid sick days at the rate of at least one hour per every 30 hours worked. After 90 days of employment, an employee can use any accrued sick days and thereafter use sick days as they are accrued. Employees must be paid their regular wage for any sick days taken.

Accrued sick days will carry over to the next year if unused, but under the Act's guidelines, employers may chose to limit employee use of paid sick days to 24 hours, or three days, each year. Additionally, an employee may take partial sick days, using a minimum increment of paid sick time of no more than two hours set by the employer.

What If You Already Provide My Employees Paid Sick Days?

California employers who already provide employees with a minimum of three days of paid sick days or paid time off won't be required to provide any additional paid sick leave to employees under the new rules.

However, employers must provide written notice setting forth the amount of paid sick leave or time off available on either the employee's wage statement or in a separate writing provided on an employee's pay date. In addition, employers will be obligated to display a poster created by the Labor Commissioner explaining the new paid sick leave rules in a conspicuous place. (If you're confused by any of this, you may want to consult an experienced California employment lawyer.)

With the bill signed into law, California joins several cities and the state of Connecticut in mandating paid sick time for workers.

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