How does California’s new sick leave law impact PTO policies?
Q: We have a PTO policy, which offers employees paid time off for a variety of reasons including sickness. Does our policy comply with California’s new sick leave law?
A: Possibly, although you’ll likely need to make some changes. California recently became the second state in the country to require employers to provide paid sick leave (AB 1522), and many companies are left wondering whether their paid time off (PTO) policy will comply with the new law. The answer depends on the PTO policy; it is possible for the policy to meet the requirements of the new law, but it may mean making some revisions. In order to comply with the new law, a PTO policy must meet the following requirements for all employees:
- Accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for 30 hours worked;
- Eligible to begin taking leave by the 90th day of employment;
- No less than 24 hours or 3 days of paid time off are available each year; and
- Employees can carry over up to 24 hours or 3 days of unused paid leave into the next year.
There are other requirements of the new law that employers should know, such as providing employees with notice about how much leave they have available. Luckily, you have some time to learn about California’s sick leave law and make adjustments to your existing PTO policy, since the new law doesn’t take effect until July 1, 2015.