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Paul Zimmerman

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Will you be ready for California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law?

California has implemented a new sick leave law—beginning on July 1, 2015, an employee who works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes, to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked.

An employee is entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment. The employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours or three days in each year of employment.  Instead of the accrual method, employers can give all employees at least 24 hours (three days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of each year. Under this option, no accrual or carryover is requiredIf employees leave their jobs, they cannot cash out unused sick days (like with vacation and paid time off). However, if they leave their job and get rehired by the same employer within 12 months, they can reclaim what they had in the bank. 

If an employer provides paid time off, employees can use the time for vacation or illness. Employers do not have to provide additional sick leave,as long as they provide at least 24 hours per year of paid leave that can be used for health care and meets other requirements in the law. Employees can take paid leave for themselves or a family member for preventive care or an existing health condition, or if they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. For partial days, employers can't require employees to take more than two hours of leave.

This article is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.