meal-restStarting July 1, 2015, nearly every employer in California will be required to provide three days of paid sick leave each year under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. A.B. 1522, the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,”  will extend to all employees, both full time and part time, and will exclude only unionized workers, home health care providers and airline flight crews exempted from the mandate.

Under A.B. 1522, all employees, full and part time, will earn paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked and can begin using the accrued time after 90 days of employment.   Employees can cap accrual of paid sick leave at 6 days, and limit the use to 3 sick days per year, with the remainder of the time carrying over annually. Employers will not be required to pay out accrued sick time at termination. Notably, the law applies to out-of-state employees that work in California more than 30 days per year.

Employers will be required to display posters  telling employees of their right to paid sick days and informing them that retaliation for requesting or using paid sick days is illegal. Employers are also required to include the amount of paid sick leave accrued on employees’ itemized wage statements. Employers could face fines of up to $4,000 per day for withholding paid sick leave or violating the bill’s requirements.

Among other requirements:

  • The employee’s sick leave balance must be included on itemized wage statements, or in another writing, on each pay day.
  • Records documenting the hours worked, and paid sick days accrued and used by an employee, must be retained for three years. Employees will have the right to inspect these records.
  • Former employees who are re-hired within one year are entitled to have previously accrued and unused paid sick days  reinstated.

For questions or concerns about employers’ obligations under the new paid sick leave law, please contact Axis Legal Counsel for a confidential consultation at (213) 403-0130.