CALIFORNIA’S PAID SICK LEAVE LAW

We are going to discuss California’s Paid Sick Leave law and what it means for both employees and employers.

California is one of the few states in the United States that has enacted a Paid Sick Leave law. This law requires employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave, which can be used to take time off from work due to illness or injury. The law was passed in 2014 and went into effect on July 1, 2015. Please visit Gateway Pacific Law’s website to get additional information from the ACLU of California about Paid Sick Leave, including frequently asked questions, a checklist to guide you as you request paid sick leave, and templates you can use to request paid sick leave from your employer! 

California’s Paid Sick Leave Law
Baja por enfermedad retribuida en California

What is California’s Paid Sick Leave law?

California’s Paid Sick Leave law requires employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Under this law, employers must provide their employees with at least 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year. Employees can use this time to take time off from work due to their own illness, or injury, or to care for a family member who is ill or injured. Assuming the employee has accrued enough leave, the employee can choose to take paid sick leave for part of the workday, for example, to attend a doctor’s appointment and then return to work. 

Who is covered under California’s Paid Sick Leave law?

California’s Paid Sick Leave law covers all employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a year. This includes both full-time and part-time employees. However, there are some exceptions to this law. For example, employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for paid sick leave are exempt from this law.

How is California’s Paid Sick Leave law accrued?

Under California’s Paid Sick Leave law, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, employers can also choose to provide their employees with the full amount of sick leave at the beginning of the year. Additionally, employees can carry over up to 48 hours of unused sick leave from one year to the next. Finally, employees can lend their paid sick leave hours to other employees. 

California’s Paid Sick Leave law also requires employers to allow employees to carry over paid sick days to the following year of employment. Employers can limit the number of hours accrued to six (6) days/forty-eight (48) hours. Employers can place a cap on the number of sick leave days their employee uses to just three (3) days in any one year.

How is California’s Paid Sick Leave Paid?

The employee’s hourly wage is the rate of pay. In the 90 days before taking accrued sick leave, if the employee had different hourly pay rates, commission, or piece rate, or was a salaried employee who wasn’t exempt, the rate of pay must be calculated by dividing the employee’s total wages by the number of hours he or she worked in the full pay periods in the prior 90 days. The employer has to pay the employee for covered sick leave no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period.

What can employees use California’s Paid Sick Leave for?

Employees can use California’s Paid Sick Leave for several purposes. These include:

  • To care for their own illness, injury, or health condition
  • To care for a family member who is ill, injured, or has a health condition
  • For preventative care, such as getting a flu shot
  • To address domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Employers Can’t Punish an Employee for Using Paid Sick Leave

Additionally, an employee can’t be discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any manner discriminated against for using Paid Sick Leave. This is true even if the employer has an attendance policy under which employees may be given an “occurrence” or similar adverse personnel action (which is a form of discipline with potentially negative repercussions) if the employee has an unscheduled absence or provides insufficient notice of an absence. 

What are the benefits of California’s Paid Sick Leave law?

There are several benefits of California’s Paid Sick Leave law. First, it provides employees with the ability to take time off from work when they are sick or need to care for a family member who is sick. This can help employees avoid spreading illnesses in the workplace and can also help them recover faster.

Second, California’s Paid Sick Leave law can help reduce employee turnover. When employees are able to take time off when they are sick, they are more likely to stay with their employer long-term.

Finally, California’s Paid Sick Leave law can help employers attract and retain top talent. When employers offer paid sick leave, it can be seen as a desirable benefit by potential employees.

In conclusion, California’s Paid Sick Leave law provides employees with the ability to take time off from work when they are sick or need to care for a family member who is sick. This law can benefit both employees and employers by reducing employee turnover and helping to attract and retain top talent. If you are an employee in California, it is important to understand your rights under this law. If you are an employer in California, it is important to ensure that you are in compliance with this law.

Workers Compensation lawyer Roger Haag
About The Author

Roger Haag is an attorney who specializes in consumer, labor, and employment law, primarily representing employees. Mr. Haag has extensive experience in various legal proceedings, including arbitration hearings, administrative hearings, bench and jury trials, and has even presented arguments before the California Courts of Appeal. Additionally, Mr. Haag served in the United States Navy and also has professional experience with the Department of the Navy’s Civilian Acquisition Workforce and Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel in Washington D.C.

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