California to Pass New Sick Leave Law

If you own a business in California, you know about the Health Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. It is the hot topic of the hour as the law moves closer to being enacted. Come July 1, 2015, the Act will become law and, therefore, enforceable. If you live outside of California, you may be wondering what the buzz is all about, if you have even heard of the Act at all.

The Health Workplaces, Healthy Families Act will require the majority of California employers to give paid sick time to their employees in the amount of 24 hours or, given a typical 8-hour working day, three days. There are very few employers who are exempt from this law. It applies to both public and private companies, both for profit and not-for profit.

The sick time must be offered to anyone who is paid by your company. This means seasonal, temporary, non-exempt, exempt, part-time, and full-time workers. The only people who you do not have to give sick time to are the people you do not pay or, in other words, volunteers.

Your company already offers paid sick time to your employees, so you don’t have to worry. That statement is not entirely correct. There are other aspects of the law that must be followed. You better look closely at the law to be sure that you are in compliance.

Not only must you now offer paid sick time to whomever works for your company, no matter how many hours they clock in, you must also grant that sick time for reasons other than the employee’s personal condition. The new law allows employees to take sick time to care for a child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, and grandchild.

You must also hang the new compliance poster in plain view of your employees. “Plain view” is a bit up in the air, but it generally means where it is regularly accessible by the people who work for you. For many, that means the employee break room. You must also distribute an updated wage notice to any new hire. As a matter of fact, these requirements have already gone into effect as of the first of the year.

If you are not in compliance with the Act, it is time to make the changes you need to make. Come July 1, you won’t have a choice in the matter. If you have questions about your compliance or those tweaks to your policies that are necessary, speak to your human resource representative soon.

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