California’s New “Paid Sick Leave Law”
A new law affecting California employers becomes effective on July 1, 2015. This new law—the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (“Paid Sick Leave law”), codified as California Labor Code sections 245 through 249, requires almost all public and private sector employers to provide almost all workers in California with at least three paid sick days per year. Prior to this, California did not have a law mandating sick leave for employees, whether paid or otherwise.
The Paid Sick Leave law entitles an employee up to three paid sick days in a 12-month period for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition or preventative care for an employee or an employee’s family members. The law also provides sick days for an employee for certain purposes relating to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Under this new law, employees can decide how much sick leave to use at a time, although the employer can set a two-hour minimum increment requirement. The employer, however, shall not require that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the days during which the employee uses his or her paid sick days.
The Paid Sick Leave law applies to almost all employees, including temporary, part-time, and even seasonal employees who work more than 30 or more days within a year from when employment commences. There are no other eligibility requirements, including no minimum number of employees needed in the workplace for the Paid Sick Leave law to apply.
Because the new law affects almost all employers in California, employers should check their existing paid leave policies and general handbooks to determine whether they will need to modify their policies to meet the law’s provisions.
For more information regarding the new Paid Sick Leave law and/or any questions regarding compliance with the law, please contact Frank J. Coughlin, Esq. at (714) 558-7886.