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California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law (AB 1522)

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2015 | in Employment Updates, Family Leave

July 1, 2015 rolled out the new Paid Sick Leave Law aka California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. Here is a quick checklist of what the new law means for employees and employers and a link to a mandatory DLSE posting:

  • Employees can use their accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.
  • Employers may limit the amount of sick leave used to 24 hours or 3 days per year. Note that the employer must notify the employee of any caps or limitations imposed prior to implementation.
  • Employers may also set a minimum increment not to exceed two hours for use of paid sick leave. For example, if the employee needs to go to the dentist for a one hour appointment, the employer can only require that the employee use 2 hours of paid leave.
  • Employees can take paid leave for you or a family member for preventive care or care of an existing health condition or for specified purposes if you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Family members include the employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.  Preventive care would include annual physicals or flu shots.  For partial days, your employer can require you to take at least two hours of leave, but otherwise the determination of how much time is needed is left to the employee.
  • Employers are not required to provide compensation to an employee for accrued, unused paid sick days upon separation of employment.
  • Employers cannot require employees to find a replacement worker in order to take paid sick leave.
  • Leave must be the greater of 3 days or 24 hours per year. Therefore, a part-time employee who works 4 hour shifts will be entitled to 6 days off, and a full-time employee who usually works 10 hour shifts will be entitled to 3 days off (which is 30 hours).
  • Employers cannot require a doctor’s note in order for the employee to qualify for paid sick leave. This will have later implications in disability discrimination suits.
  • Employees with fluctuating pay rates, the regular rate of pay use to pay an employee using sick leave is calculated by dividing the employee’s total earnings by their total hours worked for the previous 90 days. Employers are best advised to make sure they have California compliant software to calculate these accruals.
  • Payment for sick leave must be made no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick leave was taken.
  • Employers must show the amount of sick leave available on the employee’s pay stub or other writing given to the employee at the time of pay and should already be using the revised Notice to Employee for all non-exempt employees hired in 2015 and going forward. Therefore, employers should be working with their payroll companies to ensure the paystubs issued to employees show the required information.
  • Under the accrual method, an employer can limit [or cap] the amount of sick leave an employee may accrue to 6 days or 48 hours.

Employers should also review the DIR’s frequently asked questions page setting forth details of the law and compliance considerations.

Also enclosed is a mandatory posting that needs to be distributed to all employees.

If you are an employer who is trying to ensure compliance or an employee who is owed wages, expenses, or other compensation, please feel free to contact Richard E. Quintilone II Esq at Quintilone & Associates  or 949-458-9675.