New Paid Sick Leave Law Effective July 1, 2015

The Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522) provides that nearly all California employees are entitled to paid sick leave if: (1) they work 30 or more days in California within 1 year of employment starting July 1, 2015; and (2) they work 90 or more days for an employer. In other words, an employee has to work 90 days for the same employer and work 30 days in California starting July 1, 2015, to be eligible for paid sick leave under AB 1522.

Full time, part time, and temporary employees alike are entitled to sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. An employer may limit an employee to using 24 hours or 3 days of paid sick leave per year. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but may be capped at 48 hours or 6 days total.

While AB 1522 technically went into effect as of January 1, 2015, employees begin to accrue paid sick leave as of July 1, 2015 or their first day of employment, whichever occurs later.

Employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers, and certain employees of air carriers are not entitled to sick leave under AB 1522.

The law requires that employees be allowed to take paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member, or for specified purposes if the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Care includes preventative care like annual physicals and flu shots, and existing health conditions. Family members include parents, spouses, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and registered domestic partners. An employer may require an employee to take at least two hours of leave for a partial days.

Employees can provide an oral or written request to use paid sick leave and employers are forbidden from requiring employees to find a replacement for their shift or work time as a condition for being allowed to use the sick leave. An employee must give reasonable advance notice if his or her need to use sick leave is foreseeable. If the need is unforeseeable, e.g. an emergency situation, an employee only needs to give notice as soon as possible.

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