California Paid Sick Leave Act Explained

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If you’ve been reading the news lately and are a California resident, likelihood is you’ve come across the California paid sick leave scheme at some point or the other. New legal guidelines published in recent years mean that you may now be eligible for applying successfully for a paid sick leave in California where you may have been rejected previously. We will take a closer look at the revised eligibility criteria.

Governor Jerry Brown signed this in late 2014. The law now requires all private and public-sector employers to grant their workers a minimum of 3 sick paid days every year in California. From the 1st of July, 2015, employees can apply for a minimum of 24 hours (3 working days) in a year. Employers can use two different methods to decide when you be allowed to take these paid leaves, either the lump sum system or the accrual system. With the latter, each 30 worked hour shift equates to 1 hour in paid leave. So, a full-time worker gets a bit over 8 days of paid sick leave per annum. The cap on this is 24 hours (3 days).

All extra sick leaves you have earned under your contract go into the ‘sick leave bank.’ Your employer can only legally stop further accumulation when 6 working days, or 48 hours, exist in the bank. This new ruling also means that with an accrual method, you are able to carry unused sick leaves over from this year to next year. However, your employer is still able to prevent you using over 3 days every year.

If your employer is offering you unlimited sick leave and vacation, this new law is going to be a bit of a nightmare in terms of record-keeping. Such policy has become more widespread in recent times in businesses. Sick leaves may be used for preventive care for yourself or a member of the family, in cases of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault. If it is a partial day, you cannot be demanded by your employer to take over 2 hours in leave.

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