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Paid Sick Leave Law in California Now Effective

By hire-up-staffing in News and Updates


Last month, there was a legislative change here in California where sick leave is mandated for all employees. Essentially, anyone who works in the State for 30 days or more within a year from the beginning of employment receives entitlement for paid sick leaves, effective July 1 of this year.

As an amendment to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, the new Paid Sick Leave law covers all employers, regardless how big or small the company is. Generally speaking, there are almost no exceptions to it, except maybe several employees who may be subject to some sort of collective bargaining agreement. As such, all employers now need to review sick leave policies in their company to make sure they stay compliant, while maintaining profitability.

The covered paid sick leaves may be provided for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee.
  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee’s family member (this may include their parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, parent-in-law, sibling, grandchild or grandparent).
  • For an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the purposes described in Labor Code section 230(c) and Labor Code Section 230.1(a).

The rate is one hour of sick leave per every 30 hours worked, but the employer has the right to limit the use of paid sick days to 3 days or 24 hours in each year of employment. What does this mean, then? At this rate, it is anticipated that the new law may raise costs by approximately 3.33% – at least, during the first 720 hours of employment (when the employee has accumulated 24 hours of sick leave).

What impacts, then, will it have?

For one, most employees who at present do not receive any paid sick days are now eligible under this law. Employers then need to be prepared to cover such employees, including temporary, seasonal and part-time workers.

Second, employers need to modify current practices and policies with regard to paid sick leave, in order to implement the provisions of the new Paid Sick Leave law.

Third, employers need to contact their Human Resources and Payroll departments, making sure that both are aware of the new Paid Sick Leave law and correctly tracking how employees use it. They also have to make sure employees have access to the paid sick leave accrual information.

Lastly, for employers that already provide sick leaves to their employees, it’s not that the new Paid Sick Leave law will provide additional leave – it will most probably not. However, there may be additional restrictions, especially to the first three days in a 12-month period as mentioned above.

Great news, if you are a current client of ours or interested in becoming a client, we are holding a FREE Luncheon on Wednesday, August 26th and have a speaker that will conduct a seminar on this topic. Our presenter Korinna Pedrosa, PHR-CA, Sierra HR Partners will discuss PTO and how if you already offer it, it doesn’t necessarily make your company exempt. In addition, there are tons of new laws about displaying available time off on pay-stubs, posters, notifications and more! Make sure that your business is in compliance and meeting all the requirements before you’re penalized.

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