New law requires employers to provide 3 paid sick days

A new law that takes effect in July 2015 requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year.

The new law provides that employees receive 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.

Ali Oromchian, Esq., an attorney at a California law firm who specializes in contracts and employment law, recommends dentists review their current sick leave policies and make sure they meet the minimum requirements of this new law.

“Even if you have very generous sick leave or paid time off policies already, you need to revisit your policy,” Oromchian said. “As an example, many of our clients exclude part-time or temporary employees from sick leave benefits, but these sort of restrictions are no longer allowed under the new law. The law also expands the use of sick leave to care for family members including grandparents, grandchildren and siblings which most sick leave policies exclude expanded family members.”

Various proposals for mandatory paid sick leave have been debated extensively in the California Legislature for the past several years. The recently adopted law has the following provisions:

  • The employer can limit employees to using no more than three days a year.
  • An employer can allocate 24 hours (three days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of the year instead of using an accrual method. With this approach, no accrual or carryover to the next year is required. With the accrual method, an employer is required to carry over unused days to the following year.
  • Employees who work more than 30 days per year (part-time and temporary) are eligible.
  • Employers must provide each employee with written notice of the amount of sick leave available. This information should be included on the wage statement.

CDA will have more information and resources available on sick leave in the future at cda.org/practicesupport. To contact a CDA practice analyst, call 800.232.7645.