On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, requiring California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days per year.  The Act becomes effective July 1, 2015.

Through the Act, California becomes the second State, after Connecticut, to mandate paid sick leave.  Yet, unlike Connecticut’s law, which applies only to larger employers with 50 or more workers and covers only “service workers,” California’s Act covers all employers with the exception of unionized employers and home health care workers.

Per the statute, employees generally may begin using accrued paid sick leave on the 90th day of employment for a personal illness, a family member’s health condition, or leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  An employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to three days (or 24 hours) per calendar year.  However, an employee’s unused sick days must carry over to the following year of employment.  Employers are not required to pay out unused accrued sick leave upon an employee’s termination.

The Act prohibits an employer from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.  It authorizes the California Labor Commissioner or Attorney General to pursue an action against alleged violators.  In such an action, it will be presumed that an employer retaliated against a worker if the employer denies workers from using sick days or takes other adverse action within 30 days of an employee’s making a complaint under the Act.  The Act further requires employers to satisfy specific posting, notice, and recordkeeping requirements.  Failure to comply with the Act will subject an employer to civil and administrative penalties.

A copy of the Act is available here.

Keesal, Young & Logan Employment Group

This information has been prepared by Keesal, Young & Logan for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and Keesal, Young & Logan. You should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.