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Mandatory Paid Sick Leave in Cal: Is Your Business Ready?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 23, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last year, California passed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522). The act is also known as the Paid Sick Leave law.

The law requires employers to give qualified employees paid sick leave. While the law took effect on January 1, 2015, the accrual period starts July 1, 2015.

Here is what you need to know:

Does it Apply to my Business?

All California employers are subject to this new law, including staffing agencies.

How do Employees Qualify for Sick Leave?

Any employee who works for you for at least 30 days after January 1, 2015 can start accruing sick leave on July 1, 2015. However, the employee must work for at least 90 days before taking any sick leave.

How Much Sick Leave Does the Employee Get?

Employees accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. For a full time employee, this equals about 8 days in one year. However, employers can limit the amount of sick leave an employee can take to 24 hours or 3 days, based on an 8 hour day, per year.

What Can Employees Use Sick Leave For?

Employees may take sick leave for preventive care or care of an existing health condition. Employees may also take sick leave to care for a family member such as a parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partners, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.

Can I Require Employees to Find Replacements For Their Shifts?

Employers cannot condition taking sick leave on finding a replacement to cover a shift. Employees only need to give oral or written notice to take sick leave.

How Much Pay Do I have to Give For Sick Leave?

Employers must pay employees at their normal hourly rate for sick leave. If employees earn commission instead of an hourly rate, employers must pay the employee's daily average over the previous 90 days.

I Already Offer Paid Time Off. How Will This Law Affect Me?

This law is the minimum requirement. If you offer more sick leave per year or unlimited sick leave, this law will not affect that program. However, if you do not already do so, the law does require employers to track sick leave accrual and use.

If you have more questions about this new law or want to know if your current program complies, consult with an experienced business attorney for help.

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