California Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law, Effective July 1, 2015

On September 10, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 into law. The Act requires employers to provide most employees at least three days of paid sick leave per year to care for themselves or a family member, and will take effect July 1, 2015.

California becomes the second state, after Connecticut, to require paid sick leave. Several West Coast cities such as San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, Oregon have also recently adopted municipal paid sick leave laws.

Persons working at least 30 days per year will be eligible for paid sick leave, excluding home health care workers and certain commercial airline employees. Employees will accrue leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. However, employees will not be eligible to take leave until after 90 days of employment.

Employers with existing paid-time-off plans may satisfy the requirements of the law and not have to provide additional leave.

Employers will be required to post posters created by the California Labor Commissioner, and must also notify employees of sick leave balances on pay stubs or a separate statement delivered on payday with pay stubs. If an employee separates employment, his or her accrued leave will remain available if rehired by the same employer within one year.

MSEC will keep members apprised of developments as further guidance is issued on this new law.