All California Employers
June 10, 2015
Contact HR On-Call
Many employers are aware that California’s new mandatory paid sick leave requires changes in their practices, but are not quite sure of the full extent of the requirements they must meet to be compliant with the law. With the July 1, 2015 deadline for employers to begin providing paid sick leave benefits fast approaching, employers should be aware of the regulations regarding posting, notice, and recordkeeping.
NEW POSTING REQUIREMENT
A copy of the “Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014 Paid Sick Leave” poster must be placed in a conspicuous location. This document, published by the CA Labor Commissioner, advises employees of their new sick leave rights. An employer’s failure to comply can result in a one hundred dollar ($100) fine per offense. This requirement has been in effect since January 1, 2015.
A free copy of this poster can be obtained from the CA Dept. of Industrial Relation’s website here. Employers also meet this requirement when posting the 2015 California and Federal Employment Notices Poster and 2015 Required Notices Kit (all-in-one poster), which contains the new paid sick leave poster prepared by the California Labor Commissioner.
NEW NOTICE REQUIREMENT
Notice to Employees
Written notice of paid sick leave information must be provided to all current and new employees. As with the new posting regulation, this rule went into effect on January 1, 2015.
All Employees, whether they have been hired before or after January 1, 2015, must be notified of the change in California’s paid sick leave law. This can be accomplished in several ways:
- Provide a copy of the updated “Wage and Employment Notice to Employees (Labor Code section 2810.5),” also known as the “wage theft notice.” This has been updated by the Labor Commissioner to include an employee’s right to accrue and use paid sick leave, as well as employee protections. Find it on the CA DIR website here.
- Provide a separate, written document to each employee, containing all required information about paid sick leave. This document must summarize the employer’s current policy and how they intend to meet the new requirements for that individual. The document must also state that:
- The employee may accrue and use sick leave.
- The employee has a right to request and use paid sick leave.
- The employee cannot be terminated or retaliated against for using/requesting paid sick leave.
- The employee has the right to file a complaint against employers who retaliate against them.
- Reflect all changes on an itemized wage statement, issued in a timely manner.
Using the above-reference methods, businesses must notify employees within the following timeline:
- New Hires: employees hired after January 1, 2015 must be provided notice at the time of hire. Employers should provide the Labor Code section 2810.5.
- Existing Employees: Employees hired before January 1, 2015 should be individually notified, using any of the above methods, between January 1, 2015 and July 8, 2015 (operative date of July 1, 2015 + seven (7) days permitted to notify employees of change= a July 8, 2015 “final” deadline). If an employer decides to modify their existing paid sick leave policy prior to July 1, 2015, notice must be provided within 7 days of that change.
Once the operative date of July 1, 2015 arrives, employees must be provided with information regarding paid sick leave on each pay period. A written notice advising the employee of the amount of paid sick leave/paid time off available to the employee must be provided with each pay period. This can be accomplished easily by:
- Including available paid sick leave/PTO on an itemized wage statement, such as employee pay stubs.
- Providing a separate written document alongside wages. Consider consulting an attorney to ensure this document meets legal requirements.
Lastly, the new law requires that employers keep records for at least three (3) years documenting the number of hours an employee has worked, their accrued paid sick days, and their used paid sick days. An employee is entitled to the maximum number of hours accruable, unless employers are able to provide clear, convincing evidence that hours have been used or not yet accrued.
This information, along with payroll records, must be available for inspection by the Labor Commissioner and the employee upon reasonable request.
- Post a copy of the Paid Sick Leave poster in an easily visible location.
- Ensure you have provided individual, written notice to all new hires and existing employees regarding the changes in paid sick leave law.
- Update the company’s payroll and recordkeeping systems to calculate and record the employee’s working hours, available paid sick time, and used sick time.
- For further guidance, subscribers should call HR On-Call at (888) 378-2456.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
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