Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014: Paid Sick Leave

Dear Clients and Friends:

California recently instated a new paid sick leave law that went into effect January 1, 2015. Under the Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014, employees will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, which equals about eight days a year for a full time employee. Employers are allowed to limit the amount of paid sick leave in one year to three days.

Employees will begin accruing sick days on July 1, 2015, as long as they have been working in the state of California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment. The law required employee notification, effective on January 1, 2015. However, employee entitlement does not begin until July 1, 2015. The paid sick leave applies to all employees working 30 days within a year in California, including part-time, per diem and temporary employees. Exceptions to this law include employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, in-home supportive services providers and certain employees of air carriers. (For a complete list of these exceptions visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Paid_Sick_Leave.htm).

Accrued paid sick leave can carry over to the following year of employment and may be capped at 48 hours or 6 days. However, an employer may have a paid sick leave, paid leave or paid time off policy (PTO) that provides no less than 24 hours or three days of paid leave or paid time off, then no accrual or carry over is required, subject to the full amount of leave is received at the beginning of each year in accordance with the policy (Entitlement, Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014 Paid Sick Leave, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Office of the Labor Commissioner).

To comply with the Healthy Workplace/Healthy Family Act, employers must display the paid sick leave poster where employees can read it easily, which can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ab1522.html. Employers must provide written notice to employees with sick leave rights at the time of hire and allow eligible employees to use accrued paid sick leave upon reasonable request. Under this law, employers will provide for accrual of one hour for every 30 hours worked and allow use of at least 24 hours or 3 days or provide that amount of time at the beginning of a 12 month period of paid sick leave for each eligible employee to use per year. Employers must also show how many days of sick leave an employee has available and keep records showing how many hours have been earned and used for three years (Healthy workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014, State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, dir.ca.gov).

For more details regarding this law for eligible employees or requirements for employers, visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/.