California to Become Second State to Institute Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
On September 10, 2014 CA AB-1522 (The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014”) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
This law amends the California Labor Code to add Secs. 245-249, which provide that:
- Most employees (exempt and non-exempt) who work in California for at least 30 days are entitled to paid sick days at the employee’s regular rate of pay. This includes temporary, part-time, and seasonal employees who work 30 or more days within a year from the date they are first hired.
- Paid sick days accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked (approx. 5.3 hours per month for 40-hour a week workers).
- An employer can limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 3 days (24 work hours) per year.
- An employee is entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.
- Employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.
- Employers must satisfy specified posting and notice and record-keeping requirements.
A few important notes about this law:
- There is NO LOWER EMPLOYEE LIMIT to the size of employer subject to this law.
- The law DOES NOT require payout of unused sick days at termination. However, employees who terminate and re-hire within a one-year period, and who meet certain conditions, must have their unused statutory sick days that were forfeited at termination reinstated.
- Employees may use paid sick days for themselves or a family member.
- The minimum usage time increment that employers may set under the law is TWO HOURS, much shorter than the FOUR hours applicable to federal FMLA.
Additionally, the following localities have paid sick time laws that extend to all workers within the relevant geography:
- Seattle, WA
- Portland, OR
- San Francisco, CA
- Milwaukee, WI
- Washington, DC
- San Diego, CA (pending results of an upcoming repeal referendum)
…and the following localities are in the process of, or close to, passing new laws:
- NYC, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- Miami, FL
- Orange County, FL