Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Sep 16, 2014

CALIFORNIA: California adopts mandatory paid sick leave

Leave Laws 

On September 10, Governor Brown signed into law the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” (AB 1522) granting paid sick leave to virtually all employees in the state. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2015.

On September 10, Governor Brown signed into law the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” (AB 1522) granting paid sick leave to virtually all employees in the state. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2015.

The law provides that every person working at least 30 days in a year qualifies for paid sick leave. Employees will continue to accrue additional sick leave at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. However, employees will not be eligible to take leave until after 90 days of employment. California is now the second state in the nation (Connecticut was first) to require mandatory paid sick leave. This law follows on the heels of several other West Coast cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, Oregon which have each adopted municipal paid sick leave laws.

Additional features of the new law include:

  • Employers can limit employees to taking  just 3 paid days per year, even if they have accrued more leave;
  • The accrual cap is 6 days or 48 work hours;
  • The law specifically exempts home health care workers and certain commercial airline employees;
  • If an employee separates employment, their accrued leave will remain available if they are rehired by the same employer within one year;
  • Employers must notify employees of remaining sick leave on paystubs or a separate statement delivered on payday with paystubs;
  • Workplace posters will be required and will be created by the California Labor Commission; and
  • Existing employer PTO or paid leave plans may satisfy the requirements of the proposed law.

California is the first on the West Coast to adopt a state-wide law. This development may be a harbinger of change for other states in the Vigilant service area. Vigilant will continue to keep members apprised of developments as further guidance is issued on this new law.

Comments