What do employers need to know before July 1, 2015 about the California Paid Sick Leave Act ?

Q.    I have a string around my finger.  I think I tied it to remind me about something happening in July.  (California Paid Sick Leave Act)

A.     Although the law went into effect this past January, on July 1, 2015 the main components of the Paid Sick Leave law will go into effect.  Like most employers, you may need a primer on the law, and you may need to change your employee handbook (if you have not done so already) to reflect the new change.  In short, the law provides twenty-four hours, or three days, of paid sick leave (“PSL”).  July 1, 2015 is a critical date.  Employees will be eligible to start accruing PSL on that date.

Employees start accruing leave on July 1,2015, or their commencement of employment, whichever is later, but will not be able to use any leave until they have worked at least 90 days for that employer.

The law is actually quite confusing and there is some varying commentary, but there are still penalties if employers fail to comply. For example:

  • Failure to post requirement is $100 per offense
  • Withholding sick leave requires the employer to pay the value of the sick day times three or $250, whichever is greater , but not to exceed $4,000
  • Failure to provide employee written notice each time wages are paid is $50, not to exceed $4,000.

If the Labor Commissioner is required to investigate, then the employer may be required to pay $50 for each day a violation occurs or continues for each employee.

This Legal Update / Bulletin is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The hypothetical question is posed to illustrate a point and does not contemplate all potential legal considerations This update should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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