Calif.: Labor Agency Publishes Sick Pay Poster and Wage Notice

By Christopher W. Olmsted, © Ogletree Deakins Dec 8, 2014
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California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has published a poster and wage notice for employers to use in compliance with Assembly Bill (AB) 1522, California’s new mandatory sick pay law.

On Sept. 10, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The act requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on July 1, 2015. The act also required the DLSE to create a poster and updated wage notice for employees.

Updated Section 2810.5 Notice

The act requires the DLSE to amend its Wage Theft Prevention Act “Notice to Employee” form (Labor Code § 2810.5). This is a mandatory notice provided to all non-exempt employees at the time of hire and within seven days of a change if the change is not listed on the employee’s pay stub for the following pay period.

The new notice includes information about the accrual and use of paid sick time. It also notifies employees that they are protected from retaliation or termination for using accrued paid sick leave. Employees are also advised that they have the right to file a complaint against an employer violating the act.

On the form, employers are required to check one of four boxes relating to the nature of the employee’s paid sick leave:

  1. Accrues paid sick leave only pursuant to the minimum requirements stated in Labor Code §245 et seq. with no other employer policy providing additional or different terms for accrual and use of paid sick leave.
  2. Accrues paid sick leave pursuant to the employer’s policy which satisfies or exceeds the accrual, carryover, and use requirements of Labor Code §246.
  3. Employer provides no less than 24 hours (or three days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of each 12-month period.
  4. The employee is exempt from paid sick leave protection by Labor Code §245.5. (State exemption and specific subsection for exemption): ______________________

The new section 2810.5 notice form can be found on the Department of Industrial Relations website.

New Paid Sick Leave Poster

In compliance with the act, the DLSE has also published a paid sick leave poster. The poster includes basic information regarding employee sick pay rights.

The poster states that employees who work in California for 30 or more days after July 1, 2015 are entitled to paid sick leave. Accrual begins on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later. The poster also summarizes the act’s accrual and use rules and invites employees to file a complaint with the labor commissioner if they believe that they have been a victim of retaliation or discrimination.

The new poster can also be found on the Department of Industrial Relations website.

Poster and Notice Effective Jan. 1, 2015

According to the DLSE website, employers must use the new section 2810.5 notice and the paid sick leave poster beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Employers need not distribute the amended section 2810.5 notice to all existing employees. Rather, the new form should be provided to new hires and to existing employees within seven days of a change of terms not disclosed on a pay stub.

The agency’s action is apt to cause confusion amongst employees who receive the notice or view the poster during the first half of 2015, given that the sick pay accrual and use rights do not become effective until July 1, 2015. The poster does inform careful readers that the paid sick leave rights begin accruing in July. The section 2810.5 notice, on the other hand, does not provide any information as to the effective date of the rights. Concerned employers may decide to create a customized notice clarifying this point. In any event, many California employers will be distributing new or updated sick/paid time off (PTO) handbook policies prior to July 2015.

Christopher W. Olmsted is a shareholder in the San Diego office of Ogletree Deakins. Republished with permission. © 2014 Ogletree Deakins. All rights reserved.

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