California employers with employees in Oakland not only need to make sure they are complying with the new statewide paid sick leave law, but also Oakland’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave law that took effect March 2, 2015.
Oakland Minimum Wage Law
The new minimum wage law requires that employees who work in the City of Oakland at least two hours per week must be paid at least $12.25 for each hour worked. This minimum wage requirement does not apply to employees who are exempt from state minimum wage requirements.
Oakland Paid-Sick Leave Law
The new paid-sick leave law requires that employees who work in the City of Oakland at least two hours per week are entitled to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This requirement also does not apply to employees who are exempt from state minimum wage laws.
The paid-sick leave law has a few nuances. For example, an employer can prohibit an employee from using paid sick leave during an employee’s first ninety days of employment. An employee would still be able to accrue paid sick leave during that time though. Employers can also cap an employee’s accrued paid sick leave at 72 hours. Small employers (those with less than ten employees) can cap an employee’s accrual of paid sick leave at 40 hours.
There are a few differences between Oakland’s paid-sick leave law and California’s new paid sick leave law. California law gives employees the option to pick whether they want a lump sum amount of paid sick leave at the beginning of the year, or if they want to accrue days. Oakland’s law does not have this option. Oakland’s law also does not let employers limit yearly paid sick leave use, aside from the allowable cap on accrual, but California law does.
Oakland employers who already have a paid time off policy that offers the same amount of paid leave required by the new law do not need to provide additional paid sick leave. Employers may not, however, fund increases in compensation required by the new measure by reducing compensation or benefits of non-management employees, nor by increasing charges to them for parking, meals, uniforms or other items.