California Enacts Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Statute includes part-time, temporary and seasonal workers

By Hera S. Arsen, © Ogletree Deakins Sep 11, 2014

On Sept. 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that provides workers with three paid sick days per year. Governor Brown enthusiastically endorsed the law’s passage in August when the California legislature passed the bill. The new law, entitled the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on July 1, 2015. More details on the new law’s provisions can be found in Ogletree Deakin's California Legislature Passes Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Bill.

According to Douglas J. Farmer, a shareholder in the San Francisco office of Ogletree Deakins, “Many California employers that currently have paid sick leave policies believe that the new legislation will not impact them. In fact, every employer with a paid sick leave policy will now have to review their policies to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of the law. Many paid sick leave policies, for example, exclude part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees from paid sick leave benefits.

The new law provides no such limitation and will place employers with such limited policies squarely in violation of the law. Similarly, paid sick leave policies that meet the requirements of California Labor Code section 233, the state's ‘kin care’ law, will likely also fall short of compliance. The legislation extends the employee’s right to use paid sick leave benefits to care for a broader range of family members than section 233, including grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings. Employers in San Francisco and San Diego, which have their own unique paid sick leave ordinances, will have the unenviable task of integrating their policies at both the state and local levels.”

Hera S. Arsen, J.D., Ph.D., is managing editor of publications for law firm Ogletree Deakins. © 2014 Ogletree Deakins. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.

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