Effective July 1, 2015, the new "Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (“HWHFA”) (AB 1522) requires California employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees.

Employers in California will need to carefully review their sick leave or paid time off policies and practices, and may need to revise their payroll and wage statements regarding such time off.

The law also requires changes to the employer’s new-hire employee notice, workplace-postings and new recordkeeping. Requirements under the law include: 

  • Posted Notice. Employers must display a poster in a prominent location that addresses employees’ rights for mandatory sick time pay. 
  • Written Notification. Employers in California must provide a written notice to newly hired employees of paid sick leave rights at the time of hire.
  • Part-time and Temporary Employee Coverage. Employers are required to accrue sick time or paid time off for employees, including part-time and temporary employees, at a rate of at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Alternatively, employers may provide at least 24 hours or three (3) days at the beginning of a 12-month period of paid sick leave for each eligible employee to use per year (calendar year or other designated 12-month basis). Accrual begins on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later.
  • Reasonable Requests after 90 days. Employers must allow eligible employees to use accrued paid sick leave upon reasonable request beginning on or after the 90th day of employment. An employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours or three (3) days in each year of employment.

    Note: However, that employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.
  • Payday notifications. Employers must provide written notice to employees every payday of the amount of sick time the employee has accrued and has available for use; this may be on a pay stub or a document issued the same day as a paycheck.
  • Recordkeeping. These employers must also maintain employment records going back three years showing hours worked, paid sick time accrued and paid sick time used.

There are provisions for penalties and fine for violations of these new requirements. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel for advice on any changes needed to your policies and procedures.  Please contact us if you have any questions.