It’s said that in matters of employment law, California legislation often indicates what the future holds for the rest of the country. That’s why HR pros everywhere probably should become familiar with a new sick leave statute that was just voted into law in the Golden State.
The Healthy Workplace, Health Families Act of 2014 was recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown. California-based companies of all sizes have less than a year to prepare for this law to take effect.
Three paid days per year
The law will take effect on July 15, 2015, and all employers across the state — regardless of their size — will have to provide paid sick leave to their employees if they meet minimal working requirements.
Specifically, any employees who work 30 or more days per year are eligible for paid sick time. Under the law, the sick time will accrue at a rate of one hour per 30 hours work — and it can be taken by eligible employees 90 days after their employment commences.
In general, virtually all public- and private-sector employers to give almost all workers in California at least three paid sick days per year. That’s because even though the math works out to a little more than eight days a year for employee who works full time, employers can limit the amount of paid sick leave work in one year to 24 hours or three days.
Although there are certain exemptions in the new law, these manly cover employer-employee agreements at companies that offer sick leave that at least meets the minimum requirements in the new CA law.
The law also includes a number of anti-retaliation measures to protect workers.
For more details on the specifics of the law, Kathleen Pender, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, offers a thorough Q&A.
More stringent than other laws
California isn’t the first state to require firms to offer paid sick leave. That distinction belongs to Connecticut.
However, California’s law is the first to require all employers to offer this leave; Connecticut’s is limited to firms with 50 or more employees.
Within the state, the law draws on similar legislation passed both San Francisco and San Diego.