One of the biggest changes for employers in 2015 is California’s new requirement to offer paid sick leave to employees. The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” requires all employers to provide at least three days of paid sick leave to all employees who work 30 or more days in California, including part-time and temporary employees.

What should you do now?

If you already have paid sick leave or PTO policies in place, you should determine if your current policies will meet the requirements of the new plan. If you do not currently offer paid sick leave you should begin to determine how you plan to implement the new requirements before July 1, 2015. There is no exception for small employers; organizations with one or more employees will be required to provide paid sick leave.

Post this new poster on or before January 1 (or ensure that your combined poster includes this information):

DLSE Paid Sick Leave Posting

Begin providing the recently updated “Notice to Employee” wage statement to your non-exempt new hires no later than January 1, 2015. If you have the old version of this notice, please replace with the below:

DLSE Notice to Employee Posting 

This is a complex law, and we expect to see continued legal guidance over the coming months.  In the meantime, here are some highlights:

What does the law require on July 1?

Employees who work 30 or more days within a year are entitled to paid sick leave, including part-time and temporary employees.  Paid sick leave can be provided as a stand-alone benefit, or as part of a combined PTO (vacation and sick) benefit.

Paid sick leave accrues at the rate of one hour per every 30 hours worked (including overtime hours).  (Exempt employees are generally assumed to work 40 hours per week).  Accruals begin on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later.  Employees may begin using accrued days beginning on their 90th day of employment.

Accrued sick leave may be carried over to the following anniversary year, and can be capped at 48 hours / six days.  However, the employer can limit the use of paid sick days to 24 hours / three days per year.

Employers also have the option of “front-loading” a lump sum of at least 24 hours / three days of paid leave at the beginning of each year, with no additional requirement for accruals or carry-over.

There is no requirement to pay out accrued sick leave upon termination, unless the employer has a PTO policy that combines sick and vacation time.  However, employers must reinstate unused accrued sick leave if a former employee is rehired within one year.

HumanageHR is available to discuss this new law with you to explore how it will impact your workplace, and assist in developing policies to ensure you are in compliance.


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