If you own a business in California and have any employees, you should be well aware of the new law that went into effect in July of 2015. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act requires employers to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave over time. There are only a few exceptions to this requirement, so the law applies to the large majority of employers throughout our state. The following are some key points about the law of which you should be aware:

  • Paid sick accrual is available for temporary, part-time, and full-time employees.
  • An employee is eligible to accrue time after working 30 days with the same company.
  • For every 30-hour work period, each employee can accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave.
  • Employers may impose a cap of a minimum of 24 hours accrual per year, or three days if the employee’s schedule mandates more than 8-hour days.
  • Pay statements or similar documents should clearly state the amount of sick time an employee has accrued.
  • Employers must approve reasonable requests for use of accrued sick leave.
  • The rate of pay for sick time should equal the rate of pay during the pay period in which the time was used.
  • Employers are prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against an employee for using or requesting use of paid sick leave.
  • Employers must properly notify all employees upon hire that they have the right to paid sick leave accrual.
  • Posters with clear information regarding the paid sick time rights of employees should be posted around the place of work.
  • Accurate and clear records of paid sick time used and accrued must be kept for at least three years.
  • Existing paid sick leave policies can be grandfathered in, or an employer may design a different accrual method if it meets certain criteria.

Consult an experienced California small business attorney for more information

If you are just starting a business or are ready to make your first hire, you should have all the information you need to ensure you are in full compliance with the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. If you are unsure how the law will affect you, it is important to discuss the measures you need to take with an experienced business attorney who fully understands California law. Attorney Claire Kalia provides common sense guidance for small business owners and startups and works to eliminate any potential future legal issues for you. Please call Kalia Law, P.C. for assistance today.

- David Arato

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