Warning: New Paid Sick Leave Law Impacts the Usual Suspects
On Sept. 10, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Assembly Bill 1522). The law goes into effect on July 1, 2015, and creates a new Labor Code Section 246(e). The law imposes radically new, ominous, and detailed requirements on small businesses in California, and 99% of those businesses are not yet ready to comply.
• All private employers are covered by the law.
• No exemptions exist for those with less than 15 or 5 employees.
• Some unionized and government work forces are excluded.
Benefits & Accruals Under the Paid Sick Leave Law:
• Workers in California performing at least 30 days of work in a year, earn paid sick leave.
• One hour is earned for every 30 hours worked.
• Full time workers will have earned 24 hours at the end of 24 weeks of full time employment.
• Employers must allow accrual of hours, but may limit total accrual to 48 hours, or 6 days.
• Employees need not be paid for the hours left unused at the time of termination.
• Employers may require reasonable advance notice of the leave.
Uses for the Paid Sick Leave Law:
• Hours may be used for preventive care.
• “Family” members include the usual persons, plus “spouse,” registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
• Use must include time off for matters of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
• Employers may set a minimum number of hours to be used each time.
• Employers must provide written notice of accrual rights at hire.
• The Labor Commissioner will probably develop an updated template for notices.
• A Poster notice of these rights is required.
• An itemized (Labor Code 226) statement of earnings (or another writing) is required.
• This law automatically presumes retaliation exists under certain conditions.
• Those conditions include all adverse actions taken within 30 days of any formal or informal complaints filed about such leave.
Every small business needs to consult with legal counsel long before July 1, 2015 to ensure compliance with the radically new requirements of this surprising law.