Nicole Rice

California Paid Sick Leave law goes into effect

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, July 2, 2015

California manufacturers have experienced many milestones over the past several years including the passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32); implementation of the workers’ compensation reform (SB 863); and the adoption of a $10 an hour minimum wage increase by 2016 (AB 10).

July 1, 2015 marked another important milestone with California becoming the fourth (and largest) state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to their workers. The Healthy Workplace, Healthy Family Act of 2014, authored by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), guarantees up to three days, or 24 hours, of paid sick leave to all California workers who work for 30 or more days within a year of becoming employed.  The other states are Connecticut, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

The law requires the time to be used for preventative or diagnostic care or treatment and to address domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking for an employee or their family. Employers can either choose to have workers accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, grant employees three days of paid sick leave upfront, or utilize an equivalent policy that allows for at least three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave or paid time off.

The accrual of time, along with other provisions in the law, have been the subject of much debate over the past six months. Consequently, the author introduced a follow-up measure earlier this year – AB 304  – in an attempt to offer clarity and ease implementation of the new law. Having survived a few significant road bumps with employer stakeholders, the measure is currently advancing through the Legislature and will immediately become law should it be signed by the Governor.

For more information on your responsibilities under California’s new Paid Sick Leave Law, click here for resources from the state Labor Commissioner, including FAQs and a webinar. 

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