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Reminder to California Employers: Right to Accrue Paid Sick Leave Begins July 1, 2015
Jun 12, 2015
June 12, 2015
Notices and FAQs Now Available
Affected employers should be mindful that a new law requires most businesses to provide up to 24 hours (or 3 days) per year of paid sick leave to employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment. The law is effective as of January 1, 2015; however, the right to accrue sick leave becomes effective on July 1, 2015.
- Employees will accrue paid sick days at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment or July 1, 2015 (whichever is later).
- Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer must provide paid sick days for certain purposes, including (among other things) diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of—or preventive care for—an employee or an employee’s family member.
- An employee is entitled to use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment, after which day he or she may use paid sick days as they are accrued.
Interaction with Employer Paid Time Off (PTO) Plans
- The 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 the employee's leave bank at the beginning of each year in accordance with the employer's paid time off (PTO) 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.
Clarification of Notice Requirements
- Poster. Effective as of January 1, 2015, employers must display a poster in a conspicuous place containing certain provisions of the law. A poster containing such information is now available.
- Individual notice. The law amends the Wage Theft Protection Act, which requires that employers provide to each new employee notice of specified information at the time of hire. Under the new paid sick leave law, such notice must also state that an employee “may accrue and use sick leave; has a right to request and use accrued paid sick leave; may not be terminated or retaliated against for using or requesting the use of accrued paid sick leave; and has the right to file a complaint against an employer who retaliates.” Under the new law, employees must receive such notice as follows:
- Employees hired after January 1, 2015 must be provided with a revised Notice to Employee (required under Labor Code section 2810.5) that includes paid sick leave information.
- Employees hired before January 1, 2015 must be provided with notice of changes to terms and conditions of employment that relate to paid sick leave within 7 days of the actual change. (This makes July 8, 2015 the final date—July 1, 2015 operative accrual date + 7 days—for providing notice of changes relating to paid sick leave to an employee hired before January 1, 2015.)
- Itemized wage statement. An employer must provide an employee with written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available (or paid time off an employer provides in lieu of sick leave) for use on either the employee’s itemized wage statement or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee’s payment of wages.
Click here for more information, including FAQs and model notices.
For more information on other state laws specific to California, visit the State Laws section, click on California, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.