This Friday’s Five article is busting its own rule with a list of ten rules (it is California, and I should have realized the limitations of lists of five). While there are many aspects of the new law that I cannot cover in a short article like this, here is a general checklist of ten items to keep in mind when preparing to comply with California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 and its July 1, 2015 deadline:
1. Employees can use their accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.
2. Employers may limit the amount of sick leave used to 24 hours or 3 days per year. Note that the employer must notify the employee of any caps imposed prior to implementation.
3. Employers may also set a minimum increment not to exceed two hours for use of paid sick leave. For example, if the employee needs to go to the dentist for a one hour appointment, the employer can only require that the employee use 2 hours of paid leave.
4. Employers are not required to provide compensation to an employee for accrued, unused paid sick days upon separation of employment.
5. Employers cannot require employees to find a replacement worker in order to take paid sick leave.
6. Leave must be the greater of 3 days or 24 hours per year. Therefore, a part-time employee who works 4 hour shifts will be entitled to 6 days off, and a full-time employee who usually works 10 hour shifts will be entitled to 3 days off (which is 30 hours).
7. Employers cannot require a doctor’s note in order for the employee to qualify for paid sick leave.
8. Employees with fluctuating pay rates, the regular rate of pay use to pay an employee using sick leave is calculated by dividing the employee’s total earnings by their total hours worked for the previous 90 days.
9. Payment for sick leave must be made no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick leave was taken.
10. Employers must show the amount of sick leave available on the employee’s pay stub or other writing given to the employee at the time of pay and should already be using the revised Notice to Employee for all non-exempt employees hired in 2015 and going forward. Therefore, employers should be working with their payroll companies to ensure the paystubs issued to employees show the required information.
Employers should also review the DIR’s frequently asked questions page setting forth details of the law and compliance considerations.