05/19/2015

Sick leave law compliance deadline approaching


The effective date for employers to begin providing mandatory sick leave to all employees is July 1, or on the first day of employment for new employees — whichever is later.

The new law requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year. The law provides that employees receive no less than an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. (Caring for themselves or family members can be the reasons for taking the sick leave.)

In addition, here are other details of the law:

  • The law applies to all employers, regardless of staff size.
  • All part-time, full-time and temporary employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a year are eligible.
  • No matter which method an employer chooses to provide leave, employers must provide at least one hour for every 30 hours worked, or three days.
  • Employee accrues from the first date of hire, but the employer can limit an employee from using the leave for the first 90 days of employment.
  • The employer can limit employees to using no more than three days a year (24 hours).
  • An employer who chooses to provide leave on an accrual basis, no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked, can limit the amount of paid sick leave to 24 hours/three days each year and can cap the total accrual banked by an employee to 48 hours/six days. Keep in mind that both regular and overtime hours are counted toward the employee’s accrual rate.
  • If the employer already has a policy in place that provides for paid sick leave equal to or greater than the state requirement, there is no requirement to provide additional paid sick days. CDA recommends adding additional language to a practice’s employee manual that indicates that the policy adheres to the state requirements.
  • The employer must provide the employee with a written notice indicating the amount of sick time available to the employee at each pay period. Records of an employee’s hours should be kept for a minimum of three years.
  • If an employee should leave the practice, sick leave does not need to be paid out unless the employer’s policy combines the sick leave and vacation into a paid time off (PTO) policy.
  • Noncompliance can result in fines and state penalties.
  • An employee may determine when and how much paid sick leave he or she needs to use, but an employer can set a “reasonable minimum increment” of time not to exceed two hours. Dentists cannot require an employee to take sick leave in increments greater than two hours. For example, a dentist cannot tell an employee that he or she needs to take a half-day off for a brief morning appointment.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, these are the six steps to successful compliance:

  1. Display poster on paid sick leave where employees can read it easily. Document policy and share with staff.
  2. Provide written notice to an individual employee at the time of hire with paid sick leave information.
  3. Provide for accrual of one hour of sick leave for 30 hours of work for each eligible employee to use.
  4. Allow eligible employees to use accrued paid sick leave upon request or notification.
  5. Show how many hours of sick leave an employee has available. This must be on a pay stub or a document issued the same day as a paycheck.
  6. Keep records showing how many hours have been earned and used for three years.

CDA has included information on page 22 in its new 2015 Sample Employee Manual that dentists can use to notify their employees about the changes to the paid sick leave law in California.

CDA reminds dentists in San Francisco that they must comply with both the new state law regarding employee sick leave as well as the local sick leave ordinance, (at least for those provisions that provide for more generous leave).

Accrual for San Francisco employees is one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. For employers with fewer than 10 employees, there is a cap of 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave per employee. For employees of other employers, there is a cap of 72 hours of accrued sick leave. More information is available at the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement website, sfgsa.org. Other local ordinances could be adopted with stricter requirements, in which case employers would have to comply with the strictest requirement, whether that is state or local law.

Dentists should review their employee manual every year and make any necessary changes so that the practice remains in compliance with current state requirements.

For more information, read the frequently asked questions or contact Michelle Corbo at 916.554.4968.

State Notices:

Updated: 05/27/15

 



Related Items

CDA has included information in its new 2015 Sample Employee Manual that dentists can use to notify their employees about the changes to the paid sick leave law in California. The new law, which takes effect on July 1, requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year.

Developed by and reviewed by attorneys to be used specifically in a dental practice. This Employee Manual template reflects revised 2019 policies, and includes updated policies in the areas of discrimination, harassment and retaliation prevention and training requirements, lactation breaks, minimum wage across CA, video surveillance, smoking policies, education and training pay and the New Parental Leave act (2018).

An employee manual clearly outlines expectations and office policies, which makes it one of the most important reference and communication tools between an employer and employees.

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