New Law to Affect 6.5 Million Californians
On August 29, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating paid sick leave for nearly all employees in California. Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Assembly woman authored the bill that will require nearly all California employers to provide a minimum of three paid sick days to their workers, marking a landmark victory for workers' rights. The bill is expected to affect approximately 40 percent of the state's workforce, or more than 6.5 million California employees who have no paid sick days.
During a signing ceremony on September 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, Governor Brown remarked, “Whether you're a dishwasher in San Diego or a store clerk in Oakland, this bill frees you of having to choose between your family's health and your job.”
The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Assembly Bill 1522) applies to both full-time and part-time workers at businesses of all size and to all state, county, and municipal employers. When the bill takes effect on July 1, 2015, employees will be eligible to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and employers will be able to cap the use of that paid time off to three days per year. While the Act's provisions for the accrual and use of paid sick days becomes effective on July 1, 2015, the Act contains posting, record keeping, and pay stub disclosure requirements that may be effective January 1, 2015.
Effect on Existing Sick Leave Plans
Many employers already have sick leave or personal time off (PTO) plans that comply with most or all of the statute. For those employers, the employer's current plan will be deemed to satisfy the statute, and no additional leave accrual is required, if the employer (i) makes available the required amount of leave to be used for the employee's illness or the illness of a child, spouse, parent, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or certain other family members; (ii) the employer's plan provides for paid leave at the same rate of pay as the employee normally earns during regular work hours; and (iii) the employer's plan permits the carryover of paid sick leave and an accrual rate no less favorable than required by the statute.
Existing sick leave or personal time off plans will be deemed to comply with the accrual/carryover requirements if the plan provides no less than 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave or the equivalent for each year of employment and if it permits the carryover of accrued paid sick leave or personal time off up to at least the 24 hour or three day per year accrual “cap” in the statute.
Are you an employer concerned about your sick leave policies?
Are you an employee with questions about your personal time off?
If so, don't hesitate to contact leading California employment lawyers from Kingsley & Kingsley to take advantage of a free initial consultation. To discuss your situation call us toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us regarding your case.