By John Gupton
California recently enacted legislation that will require employers in that state to provide its employees with paid sick leave. The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (AB 1522) will go into effect on July 1, 2015. With this new law, California becomes only the second state in the nation to require paid sick leave. The other state is Connecticut, which enacted its law in 2012. There is no federal law requiring paid sick leave.
The new law requires California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from commencement of employment. The leave, to be accrued at the rate of one hour per every 30 hours worked, may be used for an employee’s own illness, to get medical care or seek assistance related to domestic violence, or to care for ill family members. The legislation defines “family member” to include spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild and sibling. Employers may limit the use of paid sick leave to 24 hours per year.
The bill imposes posting, notice and recordkeeping obligations on employers. The bill assigns enforcement authority to the California Labor Commissioner. Employers that violate the law will face administrative fines. The bill also authorizes the Labor Commissioner or the Attorney General to recover civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, costs and interest against violating employers, as well as to reinstate employees. In addition, the law prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.
For read the new law in its entirety, go to http://j.mp/cal-6.