California Sick Leave Law

The California Sick Leave Law is part of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 that was introduced by Governor of California, Jerry Brown. This law mandates that any business owners in California must provide their employees with the minimum paid sick leave every year. Generally, this is estimated to be one hour for every 30 hours that are spent working. California is the only state in the United States to require this of employers, aside from Connecticut. But even with the state of Connecticut, the requirement to offer the minimum amount of paid sick leave is applicable only to businesses with 50 or more employees. In California, this law is applicable to businesses both small and large, regardless of how many people are employed.

The amount of paid sick leave an employer offers can be limited to either three work days or 24 hours, depending on what employers has specified to employees (this must be explained in writing). If the employer does not create a written policy, they are required to use the statutory mandated one hour for every 30 hours worked accrual rate.

It is the business owner’s job to record the amount of sick leave each that employee has built up, track the balance of each pay period, and use what is in the balance to pay the employees their sick leave. An employee is eligible for sick leave in the state of California if they work one full month or more in one year. This regulation also includes coverage for both temps and part-time workers, in most cases.

In the state of California, and employee might take paid sick leave to tend to their own health problems or care for a family member with a health condition (preventive treatment falls under this category). The term “family member” is usedgenerously and applies to the following: domestic partner, spouse, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, and siblings. In the event that an employee is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault, they are permitted to take paid sickleave.

A place of employment is required by law to display a sick leave poster for employees to see. The employee’s available paid sick leave must be displayed on every paystub. In addition to including the available sick leave amount, business owners need to also keep track of how much sick leave an employee has built up and used every three years.

As far as who is not subject to paid sick leave in the state of California, it is very limited. The only exceptions are the employees of IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services), certain aviation workers and crews of airlines, and anyone covered by the collective bargaining agreements (such as union construction workers).

The California Sick Leave Compliance Checklist

  1. Figure out how you are going to calculate, log, and reports the amount of paid sick leave every employee has built up.
  2. When you hire an employee, supply them with a copy of your written sick leave policy.
  3. Put up a poster of your company sick leave policy in the workplace for employees to see.
  4. Confirm that you have offered every eligibleemployee a total of three days paid sick leave (24 hours) on a yearly basis.
  5. Record the amount of paid sick leave that is still available to employees directly on their pay stub or on another piece of paper that accompanies their paycheck.
  6. Keep a log of three year periods that track the number of hours of paid sick leave accrued and used by each employee.

10 Things Every Business Owner Needs to Know about California’s Paid Sick Leave Law

  1. This paid sick leave law is applicable to almost all businesses in California regardless of their size. The only exemption there might be are the ones mentioned previously in this article.
  2. Even if a business owner already has a paid sick leave policyin place, they should review it to ensure that it is up-to-date with the standards of the new state law.
  3. There are different methods that you are able to use with paid sick leave regarding the different departments or groups of employees that you have in your business.
  4. You can put a limit on accrual and the amount of time that your employees get in paid sick leave.
  5. Paid sick leave is applicable to not only the employee but the employee’s family members (including, but not limited to domestic partner, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, child, sibling, and grandparent).
  6. Review you attendance policies routinely as paid sick leave is protected by law in the state of California.
  7. A medical note is not needed in order for someone to take paid sick leave.
  8. There are many options available to you in regards to paying employee’s their sick leave.
  9. You are required to keep records pertaining to paid sick leave, such as how much paid sick leave they have earned and the total balance, how much they have used, and how much they have yet to use.
  10. In addition to complying with this state law, you must also comply with local ordinances.

A Few Points Regarding Your Current Paid Sick Leave Policy

As mentioned above, there is a good chance that you already have a generous paid sick leave policy put in place for your employees. However, even if that may be the case, you still need to confirm that the policy is up-to-date and in line with the requirements of the new California state law. It is important to review your policy and make sure that it complies with the current regulations because many employers don’t offer their employees paid time off to care for family members.

With the California paid sick leave law, time off is granted to employees who need to take care of their family. Failing to provide your employees with this would be illegal and that is why a review of your current paid time off policy (PTO) is so important. Additionally, many paidtime off policies that are offered by employers do not include paid time off for part-time employees and now, with the updatedCaliforniaregulations, part-time employers are by law, supposed to be covered. You will also want to confirm that your accrual rates are sufficient and correct. Take the time that is needed to meticulously examine your pre-existingpolicy and update it accordingly to comply with the new paid sick leave law.

A Note on Doctor’s Notes

When an employee supplies their employer with a written and signed doctor’s note (even though this is not required by law), the employer must grant that employee time off. This doctor’s note could come in the form of either a written or verbalrequest. In certain instances, when it is not possible for the employee to provide the employer with a doctor’s note well in advance (such as an unexpected medical emergency affecting either the employee or one of their family members), they need to provide the employer with this this information as soon as possible.

Make Sure You Are Keeping a Record of Paid Sick Leave

Employers are required by law to keep an accurate record of all of the hours each employee works and the amount of paid sick leave each employee has built up.

Pay Attention to Local Ordinances

In addition to keeping a record of paid sick leave, employees must also make themselves familiar with and abide by local ordinances, in addition to state mandated paid sick leave laws. In the following cities of California, there are local ordinances with which employers must comply: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, and Emeryville.

San Francisco, for example mandates that every employee can build a maximum of 72 hours of paid leave on an annual basis and there is no limit to the amount that the employee can use.

If you are a business in one of the following cities listed above, you have to make sure that you are complying with local ordinances. In the event that you operate a business with specific local laws, the local laws will supersede the state laws, in most cases. This is particularly true when the paid sick leave benefits of the local area are more generous than the paid sick leave benefits provided on the state level.

What Businesses in Los Angeles Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

Until July 1, 2017, businesses operating in Los Angeles that employed fewer than 26 people were allowed to defer compliance. The buildup of paid sick leave begins the very same day that an employee starts working for a Los Angeles businesses. That employee is entitled to paid sick leave that they accrue so long as they have worked for the same employee for a minimum of 30 days in one year.

When an employee takes paid leave in the city of Los Angeles, they can use their paid sick leave to care for either a family member or someone they are in a close relationship with that resembles familial ties. Once an employee has been employed for 90 days, they are entitled to use their paid sick leave. An employee in the city of Los Angeles must work a total of 30 days in one year before they are entitles to paid sick leave benefits.

What Businesses in San Diego Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

Upon the first day of employment, somebody working in the city of San Diego will start accruing paid sick leave. Just as it is in Los Angeles, employees working in the city of San Diego will be entitled to their paid sick leave on the 90th day of being employed. An employee is considered eligible once they have worked a minimum of two hours on one or more weeks, starting on their first day of employment.

What Businesses in San Francisco Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

The paid sick leave used to start once an employee hit their 90th day of working. However, as on January 1, 2017, accrual starts on the same day the employee is hired and they can begin using it on the 90th day of working. This paid sick leave is built up on the one hour for every 30 hours of labor method. As of January 1, 2017, employees were allowed to use their leave to donate an organ or bone marrow. Somebody who works in the City or County of San Francisco is permitted to use paid sick leave.

What Businesses in Oakland Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

Once an employee is hired, their accrual starts. Just as it is in San Francisco, employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hours for every 30 hours worked. Employees can use their paid sick leave in hour long increments. So long as an employee works a minimum of two hours in a full work week in the city of Oakland, they can use paid sick leave.

What Businesses in San Diego Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

Accrual also begins on the first day of employment in the city of Emeryville. By the 90th day of work, an employee is eligible for their paid sick leave. An employee, if they do not have a domestic partner or spouse, is permitted to appoint someone to care for them during sick leave. Paid sick leave can also be used if the employee needs a service dog, guide dog, or signal dog.

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