07/14/2015

CDA provides clarity on sick leave law misconceptions


The new sick leave 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.

One of the misconceptions among dentists is that they must pay for the time up front, if the time is provided as a lump sum (three days, front-loaded). The employer is obligated to provide the time and show the employee’s available time on their paystub. The only obligation is to pay when and if the employee takes the time. Unused, front-loaded time is lost at the end of the benefit year.

Some employers have chosen, in lieu of accrual, to provide payment at the end of the benefit year. Policies shouldn’t discourage the use of the time.

Here are additional tips to clear up some of the misconceptions about the new sick leave law.

  • Employers who already have a PTO policy should be aware that the policy should meet or exceed the minimum state requirements of one hour for every 30 hours worked. In addition, they should broaden the language in their existing policies to include the specific conditions of use of the time as described in the sick leave law.
  • If the employer has decided to cap the time at 24 hours in one year (up to 48 hours in subsequent years), then it should be clearly outlined in their policies. If an employer does not cap the time, a full-time employee could potentially accrue more than 69 hours of sick time.
  • Accrual begins on July 1, 2015, or the first day of employment if hired after July 1. Sick leave is tracked on a 12-month basis. The benefit year measurement could vary depending on how the individual employer chooses to track the time, based on the employee’s anniversary date of hire, or on a date determined by the employer. Note: the law does not allow for proration of sick leave in 2015.  
  • By now, employers should have posted the notice (Jan. 1, 2015), provided the Wage Theft Notice to nonexempt employees, reviewed their updated/existing sick leave and PTO policies, chosen which method they will use to provide the leave (accrual, lump sum or modification of existing policy), communicated changes to staff and updated payroll systems to track sick leave.
  • Consequences of noncompliance include various costly fines and penalties for not providing sick days. These fines can range from $50 to $4,000 and allow for potential civil action by the state of California. In addition to administrative penalties, reinstatement, back pay and payment of unlawfully withheld sick days could be ordered.

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 on the new sick leave law, including frequently asked questions, click here or contact Michelle Corbo at 916.554.4968.



Related Items

The effective date for employers to begin providing mandatory sick leave to all employees has arrived (July 1), and in addition to updating policies, dentists must also distribute a new/updated employee notice by July 8.

With the impending July 1 deadline for employers to begin providing mandatory sick leave to all employees, CDA Practice Support has answers to top questions you’ve been asking about how the law applies to your practice. The new law requires nearly every employer in California to provide all of its employees paid sick days each year.

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. Here is what dentists need to know.

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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