New Rules: The Recently Passed California Sick-Leave Law

As a child, the "faux flu" and other such maladies were either an effective technique to stay home from school. In the long run, those couple of missed days did little harm. The world of adult careers and individual accountability is less inclined to forgive an absence due to illness, or a call to provide care to a loved one. Until recently it was valuable income lost in the void of unpaid sick leave, and many employees were forced to remain in the workplace as they fought illnesses, in order to receive their full paycheck: an issue detrimental to both the employees health, and the health of the workplace.

The Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act is California's new sick-leave law, allowing employees to collect one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked. The new law:

  • Specifies eligibility and outlines the accrual and use of sick leave.
  • States employees as eligible to begin building up sick leave hours after 30 days of employment, and can use them after 90 days.
  • Allows for paid sick leave for either preventative measures, illness, health of a family member (broadly defined as both intermediate family and grandparents, etc...)
  • Requires a sick leave poster to be posted in the workplace.
  • Allows employers to offer a lump sum option (3 days of sick leave) available to employees at the beginning of the year.

Unused hours may roll over to the next year, but employers have the ability to limit the number of paid sick-leave days carried over to six days. If no rollover cap is specified, the entirety of the leftover hours will most likely carry into the next year. Part-time workers may also accrue hours, but will do so at a slower rate.

The law impacts both employee and employer. Employers are both concerned with ways in which to correctly carry out the mandate, as well as any fiscal implications the mandate holds. An employer also no longer has the obligation to inquire into or record the purposes for which an employee uses sick leave and paid time off. They are, however, required to record all usage and acquisition of sick-leave hours, and have the information available for the Labor Commissioner upon request. For more information on this new law read this article.

If you have questions or concerns regarding these changes and new mandates in sick-leave policy, call the Law Offices of Glew & Kim at 866-416-2161 for a free case review.

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