Friday, June 26, 2015

The California Paid Sick Leave – A Brief Reminder

image This article was written by Robin Noah, SCORE Orange County Business Mentor

If you do not have everything in place for processing the new Paid family Leave Act here is a reminder. July is just around the corner.

Most California businesses are aware of the new law for businesses with operations in California passed Sept. 10, 2014. At that time Gov. Jerry Brown announced that California employers will now be required to give part-time and full-time workers at least three days of paid sick leave per year, starting in July 2015.This leave is not to be confused with the Paid Family Leave act.(See note at end of article)

As the July 1 deadline approaches employers need to be prepared for meeting the obligation of the benefits under the new mandatory paid sick leave law tilted The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

Employers need to be prepared for administering the new law. They are:

· Required to post a paid sick leave poster that advises all employees of sick leave rights and is in a conspicuous location. Willful failure to post can result in a penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.

· Provide written notice of the paid sick leave to all new hires from January 15, 2015 and existing employees covering the basic points of the law.

· Understand that an employee may accrue and use paid sick leave and may not be terminated or retaliated against for using or requesting the use of paid sick leave and has the right to file a complaint against an employer who retaliates.

Payday Notices have to be updated with each payday notice presented providing the amount of paid sick leave available to the employee. If you use a payroll service make sure they are ready and understand the issues regarding paycheck stubs.

There is a lot more information available in the internet. One resource is the Q and A athttp://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/Paid_Sick_Leave.htm

If there is an existing paid sick leave policy in place and it is modified prior to the July 1 operative date, to comply with the new paid sick leave law, an employee notice regarding the change must be provided within seven days of the effective date of the policy change.

Any separately written documents to be presented with the payment of wages should be consulted with a labor law attorney, including any policy documents.

Recordkeeping: Retention of records that document Paid sick leave activity is required for at least three years including:

     1.   Number of hours that the employee worked

     2.   Paid sick days accrued by an employee

  1. Paid sick days used by an employee.

Failure to maintain adequate records establishes a presumption that the employee is entitled to the maximum number of hours accruable – unless the employer can show otherwise by clear and convincing evidence.

NOTE: California's Paid Family Leave (PFL) insurance program, which is also known as the Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program, is a law enacted in 2002 that extends unemployment disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new minor child. Benefits equal approximately 55% of earnings and have a maximum per week.

The Paid Family Leave program is administered by the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program of the Employment Development Department. Benefits commenced on July 1, 2004.