In September 2014, Governor Brown signed into California law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, mandating paid sick leave for almost all California employees. With a few exceptions, beginning July 1, 2015, an employee who works in California for 30 days or more in a year is entitled to paid sick leave. Paid sick leave must accrue at a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked and up to 24 hours or three days per year. Accrued paid sick leave will carry over to the following year of employment but may be capped at 48 hours or six days.
If you are an employer and already have a paid time off (PTO) policy that provides at least the same benefits as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, you are not required to have a separate sick leave policy. However, you do need to ensure that your paid time off plan meets the minimum requirements of the new law.
Further, retaliation or discrimination against an employee who requests paid sick days is an unlawful employment practice and employees can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner against an employer for such behavior. As an employer, you are also required to post these new paid sick leave rights in a place where employees can easily read them.
If your business is unsure whether or not its current PTO policy meets the minimum requirements of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, or you have other questions regarding compliance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.292.1765.
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