Paid Sick Leave Mandatory Effective July 1, 2015

Reposted from 6/10/15 BenefitMall blog: BenefitMall

California Now Requires Employers to Cover Paid Sick Leave for Employees

Starting July 1, 2015, California employers are required to provide their employees with paid sick leave. California becomes the second state to apply this statewide mandate, following Connecticut. This law, called the Healthy Workplaces, Health Families Act of 2014, which was passed last September, changes several Labor Code provisions.

With less than one month until this law takes effect, employers are encouraged to prepare and educate themselves on the modifications in order to comply with the new law. Expected changes include cost, administrative tasks and time keeping organization. Below you will find a summary of the basic expectations as laid out by the new mandate.


While this state law does apply to most employers, there are several exemptions. First, as stated in the article, “California Enacts Law Requiring Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave,” by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), this law does not apply to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) “that expressly provide for the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of employees, as well as for paid sick days (with final and binding arbitration for any disputes regarding paid sick days), premium wage rates for all overtime, and a regular hourly rate of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage.”

Other exemptions:

  • Same rules mentioned above apply to construction employees if the CBA began before January 1, 2015, or if their CBA explicitly disregards the new law.
  • In-home service providers are also excluded as a part of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
  • Airline employees, as well as employees under the federal Railway Labor Act, are exempt as long as they receive a paid sick leave equivalent to this new state law.

How it works

California employees will begin to accrue sick leave after July 1, 2015. For every 30 hours worked, employees will gain one hour of paid sick leave. Whereas, most employees exempt from this law must work 40 hours per week in order to accrue hours. After 90 days of employment, employees may use their accrued paid sick leave.

Employers may authorize borrowed paid sick leave before an employee has enough hours accrued, and may cap the max accrual at six days. Also, while employees may carry over unused paid sick leave to the following year, employers can restrict that number to no more than three days. Or, employers may choose to provide employees with paid sick leave in full at the start of each year, therefore eliminating the need for accruals or carryover.

Employees may use their accrued paid sick leave in order to care for their personal health or a family member’s medical needs. The law states that family members include the following relations; child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. During use of paid sick leave, employees shall be paid their normal compensation.

There are several more additional details employers will want to review and understand in the coming weeks. For more information on this new legislation visit SHRM.