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New California Sick Leave Law

October 16, 2014

California recently passed a new sick leave law requiring most employers, regardless of size, to give their workers at least three paid sick days (24 hours) per year. Employers can award the paid sick time based on accrual or give them the hours in a lump sum. The new law is called the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

Under the accrual method, employees will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, beginning on their first day of employment. They can begin using the paid sick leave on the 90th day of their employment. Employees must be permitted to carry over unused sick time into the next benefit year, although accrual can be capped at 48 hours. Employers can also prohibit employees from using more than 24 hours of sick time per year, even if they have accrued more time. Unused sick time does not need to be paid out upon termination of employment, but it must be returned to any employee rehired within twelve months. Instead of the accrual method, employers can choose to give all employees at least 24 hours (three days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of each year. Under this option, no accrual or carryover is required. These workers cannot carry over unused sick pay, but they will get at least three new sick days the next year. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2015.

There have also been some record keeping changes. Employers must show how many days of sick leave employees have available with each pay stub or some other document. Employers must also keep records showing how many hours were earned and used for the past three years. If all these new rules seem overwhelming, check out our free time clock software trial and allow Virtual TimeClock to keep track of employee paid sick leave for you.

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