California’s Paid Sick Leave Law
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California’s paid sick leave law, which went into effect on July 1, 2015, allows employees to take time off from work to address their health or a family member’s illness without losing a paycheck. The paid sick leave law in California helps to promote a healthy workforce.
California’s paid-sick-leave law includes the following basic requirements:
- Covered employees include full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal workers who work in California for 30 or more days in a 12-month period for the same employer.
- Covered employees must accrue at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Alternative accrual methods are acceptable if they comply with the law.
- An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days.
- An employer must allow accrued unused paid sick leave to be carried over to the next year, but a cap on carryover hours of no less than 48 hours or six days is permitted.
- Depending on where you work the amount of sick leave can vary from 24 hours to 48 hours per year.
- The new paid sick leave law applies to virtually all California employers, regardless of size
Reason Why an Employee May Utilize Sick Leave
The sick leave law requires employers to allow employees to take paid sick leave for themselves or a family member for the following reasons:
- Preventive care or diagnosis.
- Care or treatment of an existing health condition.
- For specified purposes for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Employees have the right to decide when to use their paid sick leave, and employers are prohibited from interfering with this right. An employer must allow the use of paid sick leave even when an employee does not provide details about the need to use sick leave or fails to produce a doctor’s note.
Covered Family Members.
A family member is defined as an employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. This definition may differ under local paid-sick-leave laws. Employers must comply with both state and local laws.
Retaliation against employees who use paid sick leave is prohibited. Employers cannot discipline employees for absences related to paid sick leave.