For all our customers who are based in California, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 kicked off on Wednesday 1 July 2015 imposing new paid sick leave provisions on employers.
While there are a small number of exceptions to the law, such as employees who are subject to some collective bargaining agreements, the new law covers all employers in California, regardless of size.
Employers must provide at least three paid sick days per year
The law covers both part-time and full-time employees, it’s particularly important for businesses in retail and hospitality that hire hourly paid workers to take note. Regardless of whether you’ve provided paid time off in the past, it’s now important that you comply with the new law. As such, you need to review your sick leave policies now.
How the new law works
From 1 July 2015, employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, though you are entitled to limit paid sick days to 24 hours or three days a year. You are also required to show how many hours of paid sick leave your workers have accrued on their pay stubs.
You can choose to have workers accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, or provide your employees with three days of paid sick leave upfront, which they can use within a one-year period.
When an employee uses sick leave for themselves or to care for a family member, they are entitled to be paid for his or her sick day at their standard hourly rate. For employees who earn commission or have a fluctuating rate of pay, you must calculate their rate of pay by dividing the employee’s total earnings by their total hours worked for the previous 90 days.
Plus, as further protection for employees, employers are not allowed to fire a worker within 30 days of them taking paid sick leave unless you are able to prove it’s for another unrelated reason.
Also, in terms of compliance, you need to document all records of hours worked, as well as paid sick leave days accrued and utilized for at least three years
Of course, managing sick leave in Deputy is a breeze by simply exporting your sick leave timesheets directly into your payroll system. Deputy provides direct export of leave into a number of leading payroll providers including and ZenPayroll.
In terms of getting your head around the new rules, here are five important things that you should keep top of mind:
- Your employees can use their accrued sick days from the 90th day of their employment;
- You must show the amount of sick leave available on your employee’s pay stub;
- You are not required to pay out the sick leave upon termination of employment;
- You must ensure payment for sick leave is made no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick leave was taken; and
- You cannot require employees to find a replacement worker or supply a doctor’s note to qualify for paid sick leave.
With any new law there are many fine details that you need to be aware of and comply with. The State of California Department of Industrial Relations provides a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions that should answer any specific concerns you may have.
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