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Labor & Employment Legal Alert
May 4, 2015              
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Reminder: Paid Sick Leave Required As Of July 1, 2015

As of July 1, 2015, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires California employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees, including all full-time, part-time, temporary, migrant and seasonal employees. Employers must provide paid sick leave to these employees if they work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment. Under the new law, employees are entitled to accrue paid sick days at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may limit the employee's annual use of paid sick leave benefits to 24 hours per year. In addition, employers may establish a maximum cap for unused paid sick leave of 48 hours, such that an employee who accumulates at any time the maximum cap of unused paid sick leave ceases to accrue any additional sick leave until sick leave is used and the employee's unused balance is reduced below the cap.

The rate of pay for sick leave is the employee's regular hourly wage (which includes commission or piece rate pay), and employers must pay sick leave to employees no later than the payday for the next payroll period after the sick leave was taken. Employers are also required to provide written notice on the designated pay dates that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave benefits available to the employee. This notice may be given to the employee on either the itemized wage statement or a separate written document.

Unlike many other California laws, the new paid sick leave law does not exclude small employers with a limited number of employees. Employers are defined expansively to include "any person employing another." The law also contains various exclusions, and has specific provisions that apply where an employer already provides paid time off. While paid time off policies already in place may satisfy the new sick leave accrual requirements, such policies will likely need to be revised to comply with certain specific requirements of the new law. Employers in California should be carefully reviewing any sick leave or paid time off policies, as well as payroll and wage statement practices regarding such time off. The law also requires changes to the employer's new-hire employee notice, a different workplace poster, and recordkeeping obligations.

Finally, employers should be aware that various cities in California and throughout the United States have enacted their own paid sick leave laws for employees performing work in those cities (even if the employee is officed at a company location outside that city), and many of those laws contain different notice requirements and/or maximum cap and accrual rates.

Grady Patrick J Patrick J. Grady
Partner
Labor & Employment
Orange County
(949) 851-5431
(949) 553-8354 (fax)
Email Patrick




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