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FAQs about paid sick leave

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law that all California employees must be granted paid sick leave The Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014 mandates that all California employees must be granted paid sick leave, whether full

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law that all California employees must be granted paid sick leave

The Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014 mandates that all California employees must be granted paid sick leave, whether full or part- time, exempt or non-exempt, hourly or salaried.

Info For Employees

Generally, an employee can take paid sick leave for the employee’s or a family member’s preventive care or care of an existing health condition, or for specified purposes if the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

The right to take sick leave went into effect effect on July 1, 2015. Sick leave is able to be taken upon reasonable request either as it accrues (1 hour per 30 hours worked), or whenever requested after July 1 (if the employer grants the 24 hours immediately for current employees instead of accrual method). When such time is used, the employee is paid at their normal hourly rate.

Info For Employers

To comply with the law, Employers must:

  1. Display poster on paid sick leave where employees can read it easily.
  2. Provide notice in writing to all employees by July 1, 2015, and to new employees when they are hired.
  3. Provide for either (a) accrual of one hour for every 30 hours worked and allow use of at least 24 hours per 12 months or (b) provide at least 24 hours at the beginning of a 12-month period of paid sick leave for each eligible employee’s use.
  4. Show how many days of sick leave an employee has available, either on every pay stub or a document issued the same day as the pay stub.
  5. Keep records showing how many hours have been earned and used for three years.

A couple more points

Unlike PTO (Paid Time Off) or vacation pay, there is no obligation for an employer to pay out unused sick leave time at the end of the employment. So if you don’t use it, you lose it. Even if an employer provides PTO, sick leave taken must be kept track of separately, as the failure to do so can result in penalties due to miscalculations of amounts due to the employee upon separation.

Source: California Department of Industrial Relations

RELATED: California Paid Sick Leave [infographic]

Joe Richardson, Esq. is a native son of South-Central Los Angeles, and an attorney practicing tort, contract, and labor, and employment law in Southern California for more than 15 years. He also teaches and speaks on legal issues.

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