California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (A.B. 1522), which provides California workers with paid sick leave.
The law applies to employers that have at least one employee who works more than 30 days in a year in the state of California. All employees who work more than 30 days in a year in California are covered, except:
- Employees covered by a valid collective-bargaining agreement that provides paid leave and has other required provisions.
- Employees in the construction industry covered by a valid collective-bargaining agreement.
- Providers of in-home supportive services.
- Individuals employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew member (provided they receive compensated time off).
For those employers that have a paid leave policy or paid time off policy already in place, you are NOT required to provide additional paid sick days. The employer makes available an amount of leave that may be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as specified in the regulations; and the policy does either of the following:
- Satisfies the accrual, carry over, and use requirements of this section.
- Provides no less than 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave, or equivalent paid leave or paid time off, for employee use for each year of employment or calendar year or 12-month basis.
Pursuant to the law, beginning on July 1, 2015 employees will accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employees who are exempt from overtime requirements (administrative, executive, or professional employees under a wage order) are deemed to work 40 hours per workweek, unless the employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the employee will accrue paid sick days based upon the normal workweek.
Employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick time beginning on the 90 day of employment, after which day the employee may use paid sick time as it is accrued. Accrued paid sick time will carry over to the following year of employment.
Employees may use paid sick time for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member. It may also be used if the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The law also prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days. In addition, employers will have to meet certain posting, notice, and recordkeeping requirements.