Sick Paid Leave Law

My Employee is claiming that I did not provide sick leave. As an employer, what do I need to know?

Per the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522), employers must adhere to various requirements.

Generally, all employers with employees working in California must comply with sick leave laws. California has several local sick-leave ordinances in addition to the state law, which often vary from state requirements. Employers with employees working in San Diego, for example, must determine the sick leave local requirements regarding eligibility, exclusions, and other factors.

To begin, there are basic formalities to consider, regardless of where your business is located in California. Department of Industrial Relations outlines your obligations as an employer:

  1. A poster must be displayed on sick paid leave where employees can read it easily.
  2. Provide written notice to employees with sick leave rights at the time of hire.
  3. Provide for accrual of one (1) hour for every 30 hours worked and allow use of at least 24 hours or 3 days or provide at least 24 hours or 3 days at the beginning of a 12-month period of paid sick leave for each eligible employee to use per year.
  4. Allow eligible employees to use accrued paid sick leave upon reasonable request.
  5. Document how many days of sick leave an employee has available. Sick leave must be on a pay stub or a document issued the same day as a paycheck.
  6. Keep records indicating hours that have been earned versus used for three years.

Notably, Labor Code § 246.5(c) prohibits retaliation or discrimination against an employee that requests or uses sick days. If retaliation or discrimination occurs, the employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner against you (the employer). Further, the employee is not required to find another employee to replace him/her while using sick leave under Labor Code § 246.5 (b).

Webb Law Group, APC can assist you with understanding your employees’ sick leave rights under California Law.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your employee works less than 30 days within a year then the employee is not entitled to paid sick leave under the new law, which went into effect on January 1, 2015.
The 90-calendar day period works like a probationary period. So, if the employee works less than 90 days for you, you are not entitled to allow your employee to take paid sick leave.
No, because there are various illnesses that do not require a visit to a Doctor. Further, paid sick leave law requires that the employer shall provide the sick days to the employee upon an oral or written request of the employee.
If your employee has used all available paid sick leave and he/she needs to take time off, you can potentially terminate or discipline the employee for having an unexcused absence. However, under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and Family Medical Leave Act the employee may have job-protected leave due to his/her illness.
Your employee much notify you (the employer) in advance of any foreseeable event, such as a doctor’s office visit. However, if the illness is unforeseeable then the employee need only give notice as soon as practical.

Speak to an Experienced Fresno or San Diego Employment Lawyer

If you are being sued by an employee for failing to provide sick leave, please contact Webb Law Group, APC., at (559) 431-4888 to schedule a consultation with an attorney.

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