New California Law Defines “Sick Leave” Requirements

Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a new law passed by the California legislature that expands significantly the obligations of business owners to provide paid sick leave to their employees beginning in mid-2015.

The new law, AB 1522, also called the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” requires virtually all California employers to provide at least 3 days of paid sick leave per year.  Unlike many other employee benefit laws, the HWHFA encompasses most small business owners regardless of size.  Limited restrictions are provided for in-home supportive services, some flight attendants and crew, and certain employees working under collective bargaining agreements.

Beginning on July 1, 2015, employees working for 30 or more days within a year are eligible to accrue at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  Part-time employees are also covered.  Use of accrued sick days begins on an employee’s 90th day of employment.

Employees will be permitted to carry over unused sick leave to the following year to a maximum of six days of accrued sick time.  However, employers are not obligated to provide monetary compensation to a terminated employee with unused, accrued sick pay.  In addition, employers may limit the amount of sick time an employee can take in single year to 24 hours (3 days).

To determine what your company should do to ensure its compliance with the new law, and avoid what can be significant penalties, please contact my office to schedule a consultation.