paid sick leaveA new law mandating that employers provide paid sick leave to employees takes effect July 1, 2015. The new law, AB 1522, is known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

However, some elements of the law – posting and notification requirements – have to be in place on Jan. 1.

You can download a copy of the poster on paid sick leave and the notice to employees with sick leave rights from the Department of Industrial Relations website.

The department has also posted a list of frequently asked questions on the website.

There is no exception for small business; the law applies even if you only have one employee. The only exceptions are for employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, in-home health care providers, and airline flight crews.

Under the requirements of the new law, any employee who works in California for 30 or more days a year is entitled to paid sick leave. That includes full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.

Employers can either provide three days of paid sick leave at the beginning of the year, or provide one hour of leave for every 30 days of employment. However, employers have the option of capping accrued sick leave at 48 hours, or six days per year. And they can limit the use to three days per year, with the rest carrying over. Moreover, additional days need not be paid out on termination of employment.

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide written notice on wage statements reporting the amount of time accrued. Employers who already have a paid time-off policy should review that policy to be sure it meets the requirements of the new law. Employers are also advised to revise employee handbooks to reflect the new requirements.

In addition, employers must keep three years’ worth of records of hours worked, sick leave accrued and sick leave utilized.

Employees can take sick leave beginning on the 90th day of employment. They can use the sick leave for their own health or to care for a family member (including preventive care). A family member is defined as a child, a parent, stepparent or legal guardian, a spouse, a registered domestic partner, a grandparent, a grandchild or a sibling. The employer must also provide sick days for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

If you have any questions about implementing AB 1522, contact Johnson Employment Law for guidance. 949-238-8044