Paid Sick Leave
The Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 provides that an employee who works in California for the same employer for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days. An employee shall accrue paid sick days at the rate of not less than one hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment.
An employee who is exempt from overtime requirements as an administrative, executive, or professional employee under the law is deemed to work 40 hours per workweek for the purposes of this law, unless the employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the employee shall accrue paid sick days based upon that normal workweek. Consult with an experienced employment law attorney as to a different accrual method an employer may use and how an employer paid leave policy or paid time off policy affects the amount of leave applicable to employees.
Q: How do California employees qualify for paid sick leave?
A: To qualify for sick leave, California employees must work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year in California, and satisfy a 90-day employment period (similar to a probationary period) before taking any sick leave.
Q: Are California employees entitled to paid sick leave if they work less than 30 days in California within a year?
A: California employees are not entitled to paid sick leave if they work less than 30 calendar days within a year for the same employer in California.
Q: Are California employees entitled to paid sick leave if they work more than 30 days in California within a year but less than 90 days?
A: The 90 calendar day period works like a probationary period, so if the employees work less than 90 days for the Employer, they are not entitled to take paid sick leave.
Q: When are California employees entitled to take paid sick leave?
A: Qualifying California employees begin to accrue paid sick leave beginning on the first day of employment. As such, employees are entitled to use (take) paid sick leave beginning on the 90th day of employment.
Q: Does paid sick leave apply to all employees who work in California?
A: Generally, yes. All employees who work at least 30 days for the same employer within a year in California, including part-time, per diem, and temporary employees, are covered by this law with some specific exceptions. Consult with an experienced employment law attorney for employees exempt from the paid sick leave law.
Q: Are California employees employed by a staffing agency entitled to paid sick leave?
A: Yes. California employees of a staffing agency are covered by the law, so employers or joint employers are required to provide paid sick leave to qualifying employees.
Q: For what purposes can California employees use paid sick leave?
A: California employees may take paid sick leave for themselves or family members, for preventive care or diagnosis, care or treatment of existing health conditions, or if they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. “Preventive care” includes annual physicals or flu shots. “Family members” include spouses, parents, children, registered domestic partners, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings.
Employees may decide how much paid sick leave they want to use (an entire day, or only part of a day). Employers can require employees to take a minimum of at least two hours of paid sick leave at a time, but otherwise the determination of how much time is needed is left to employees.
Q: Must California employees notify the Employer before taking sick leave?
A: Generally, yes. California employees must notify their employer in advance if the sick leave is planned. If the need is unforeseeable, employees need only give notice as soon as practical.
Q: When are California Employers required to pay employees for sick leave?
A: California employers must pay employees for the sick leave no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick leave was taken. Employers may make the adjustment in the pay for the same payroll period in which the leave was taken, and it permits employers to delay the adjustment until the next payroll.
Q: How much shall California employers pay employees for the sick leave?
A: It depends on whether employees are “exempt” or “non-exempt” employees. Consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine how exempt and non-exempt employees shall be paid.
Q: Must California Employers show employees their accrued sick leave?
A: Yes. California employers must show how many days of sick leave employees have available on their pay stub, or on a document issued the same day as their paycheck. Employers that provide unlimited paid sick leave or unlimited paid time off, may indicate “unlimited” on employees’ pay stub or other document provided the same day as their wages.
Employers also must keep records showing how many paid sick days employees earned and used for three years. This information may be stored on documents available to employees electronically.
Q: Must California Employers document the reason employees use paid sick leave?
A: No. California Employers are not obligated to inquire into, or record, the purposes for which employees use paid sick leave or paid time off.
If you have any questions about paid sick leave time, please contact me for a FREE confidential consultation at (916) 333-4653 or Stephen_Fiegel_Esq@comcast.net.
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