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Last week, the Governor signed into law AB 1522:  The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

Existing law authorizes, but does not require, employers to provide their employees paid sick leave.  This bill enacts the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to provide that an employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days.  This bill applies to employers of all sizes.  The law covers virtually all employees in California, other than certain union employees.

The sick days will accrue at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked.  The leave is paid at the employee’s normal hourly wage.  An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.  Employers will be permitted to limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours (3 days) in each year of employment.  Employers that already provide paid sick leave or PTO at the minimum rates prescribed by this bill would not have to provide additional paid sick days pursuant to this law.  Consistent with current law governing paid sick leave, employers are not required to pay an employee for accrued, unused sick days upon termination.

The bill prohibits an employer from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.  The bill requires employers to satisfy specified posting and notice and recordkeeping requirements.  The bill authorizes the Labor Commissioner to impose specified administrative fines for violations, and authorizes the commissioner or the Attorney General to recover civil penalties against an employer who violates these provisions, as well as attorney’s fees. 

About the Author
Theodore J. Schneider practices in the areas of business and corporate transactions, employment law counseling, municipal and public law, real estate and land use, and homeowner associations. Ted began his legal career in 2002 when he joined the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, L.L.P. before relocating to Ventura County to join his father in practice.