Mandatory sick leave may affect employment in California

In the past, many employees here in California may have been permitted to have a sick day, but they often also had to miss out on a day's wages. This is all about to change -- starting in 2015, a majority of employees in this state who meet certain requirements will be entitled to receive at least three days of paid sick leave annually. These new laws could have an affect on employment agreements, though it remains to be seen whether these effects will be positive or negative.

The law going into effect states that California employees who work at least 30 days within a year are eligible. It will not matter whether they are part-time or full-time, though employers who already provide at least three paid sick-leave days will not be required to modify their practices. Workers who receive paid time off due to being part of a collective bargaining agreement also are not subject to this new law. Certain employees, such as airplane crew people, construction workers or at-home support providers are also exempt.

This benefit will be earned based on the hours an employee works, though they must be employed for at least 90 days to use it. They will receive their normal wage on these sick days and they can roll over the days to another year, although employers may decide to limit their usage. Employees can also use only part of a sick day, though they must use at least two hours when doing so. 

Employers are required to inform their employees of these paid sick days even if it is a benefit they have already been receiving. The possibility exists that these new laws could result in some employment disputes if California employers neglect to follow the law. Employees who have questions about paid sick leave may wish to seek more information. Violations of these benefits on the part of employers could result in civil litigation as employees fight to enforce their rights.

Source: blogs.findlaw.com, "Calif.'s Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect in 2015", Daniel Taylor, Sept. 11, 2014

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