As we’ve discussed before, California’s new “paid sick leave” law takes effect July 1st. The new law contains several traps for unwary employers. In addition to providing paid time off benefits, there are other important requirements:
- Notice to New Employees. The Act further requires employers give new employees, at the time of hiring, a written notice advising the employee that he or she may accrue and use sick leave; has a right to request and use accrued paid sick leave; may not be terminated or retaliated against for using or requesting the use of accrued paid sick leave; and has the right to file a complaint against an employer who retaliates. The DLSE provides a form notice (https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/LC_2810.5_Notice.pdf) but most employers are making their own form instead.
- Notice to Existing Employees. Employers must individually notify all employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 of changes to employment terms relating to paid sick leave. These notices must be given no later than July 8, 2015. While the DLSE has published a template notice (https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/LC_2810.5_Notice.pdf), most our clients are preparing their own form.
Finally, paid sick leave benefits apply to both exempt and non-exempt employees. Thus, employees who are exempt from overtime (managers, executives, professionals, etc.) get this benefit unless they fall under a collective bargaining agreement, a more generous existing PTO program, or a special Labor Code exemption. If we can help you avoid troubles with these issues, we are happy to assist.