In the latest CalChamber Capitol News Report, President and CEO Allan Zaremberg calls attention to the most important aspects of the new mandate and what employers need to know to be in compliance.
Along with CalChamber Policy Advocate Jennifer Barrera, Zaremberg discusses the calculation and accrual method for the leave, as well as who is eligible and why it is so important that employers put their policies in writing.
Misleading Information Abounds
There has been a lot of misleading information about the law and in particular, the number of days that employers must provide.
In the video, Barrera provides clarification that the legislation requires employers to allow and employees to accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked.
“For a full-time employee, that’s eight days per year,” Barrera explains. “An employer can limit the use to three days, but they need to specify that and notify employees.”
The law applies to private and public employers regardless of size; there is no exception for small employers. Any employee who has worked in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of his/her employment will be entitled to paid sick days.
Barrera explains that the law covers not only full-time workers, but part-time employees, seasonal employees, and per diem employees. All employees are covered.
The law includes several notice, posting and recordkeeping mandates.
- Pay-Stub Notice: An employer must provide an employee with a written notice setting forth the amount of paid sick leave available to the employee each pay period. An employer can provide this notice to the employee either on the already-required itemized wage statement or in a separate written document provided to the employee with the payment of wages.
- Wage Theft Notice: The Wage and Employment Notice (Labor Code section 2810.5), which employers have been required to provide to nonexempt employees since 2012, has been updated by the Labor Commissioner to contain information about an employee’s right to accrue and use paid sick leave and about employee protections under the law. The updated Wage Theft Notice is available on the Labor Commissioner’s website and also on HRCalifornia.
- Poster: There is a new required poster advising employees of their sick leave rights. The Labor Commissioner has released the poster, and it’s available on the Labor Commissioner’s website. Purchasers of CalChamber’s 2015 California and Federal Employment Notices Poster will receive this posting.
- Recordkeeping Requirements: Employers will need to keep records for at least three years which document the number of hours that each employee worked and paid sick days accrued and used by each employee.
Consequences for Noncompliance
If employers do not comply with the new law, they can face Labor Commissioner enforcement measures that include awarding back pay, damages and penalties up to $4,000.
The law also specifies that employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who take sick leave.