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Sick Pay Changes for California Businesses

August 19, 2015

California enacted the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 which mandates paid sick leave for California employees. Beginning July 1, 2015, all employees who have worked in California for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year from the start of their employment will be entitled to paid sick time. This applies to temporary, part time and full time employees.

Employees are not eligible to take paid sick time until they have worked for the company for 90 days from their date of hire. An employee may use paid sick leave for themselves or a family member for the diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition or preventive care. It can also be used for specified purposes for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days. Employers must allow employees to carry over the accrued, unused paid sick days to the following year of employment, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days. Employers can provide more generous leave than what the new law mandates.

The Act provides employers with different options to satisfy the requirements. Note that employers must comply with both the local and California laws. Some localities also have ordinances requiring paid sick leave. The more generous provision takes precedence.

If employment is terminated, employers are not required to pay out an employee’s accrued, unused paid sick days at the time of termination, resignation or retirement. If the employee is subsequently rehired by the employer within one year from the date of separation, the employee can have the previously accrued and unused paid sick days reinstated.

Additional information and updates, including the recent amendment to the Act that became effective July 13, 2015, are available at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/ab1522.html.

For additional information contact Rose Cleverley, MA, SHRM-CP, PHR, Human Resources Manager, at 310.288.4231 or hr@nsbn.com. Nothing in this information should be interpreted or relied upon as legal advice; consult your labor and employment counsel as needed.

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NSBN LLP
1925 Century Park East, 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067

(310) 273-2501