On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the paid sick leave bill, AB 1522. Starting in July 2015, private California employers will have to provide their employees with at least 3 paid sick leave days per year.
With the signing of this law, California has become the second state, following Connecticut, to require employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Beginning next year, most employees will be entitled to one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. According to the new law, employees will be able to use sick leave for their own illness as well as for preventive care. Preventative care entails looking after a sick family member or recovering from certain crimes.
Specifics of the new law include the following standards:
- Unused, accrued sick leave will roll over from year to year
- Employers can set a minimum increment for use of sick leave
- Employees will not be entitled to pay for unused sick leave at separation of employment
- Employers must provide notice to employees of their accrued sick leave
- Employers must post a paid sick leave information poster (which will be prepared by the Labor Commissioner’s office)
- Employers may not retaliate against employees who use sick leave
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements with paid sick leave provisions and other specific criteria will be exempted from the new law.
California employers that already have paid sick leave policies that fulfill the bill’s minimum leave requirements will not be required to provide additional leave. However, these employers should still review their policies to make sure they are compliant with the new law’s requirements. California employers who currently do not provide paid sick need to review the new law and adopt a conforming paid sick leave policy.