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October 8, 2014

New Paid Sick Leave Laws (article)

State and local governments continue the trend of requiring paid sick leave laws, most recently in California and New Jersey.


California Paid Sick Leave

On September 10, 2014, Governor Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) which provides paid sick days to the millions of Californians who do not currently earn this benefit.  With the Governor's signature, California becomes only the second state in the nation to require paid sick leave.

 

Beginning July 1, 2015, both private and public sector California employers must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours their employees work. This benefit is available to full-time, part-time, seasonal, and in certain circumstances temporary employees.  Employees can use the paid leave for their own or a family member’s health condition, or to obtain preventive care services.  Leave can also be used for matters relating to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

 

Employers who have a paid sick leave or paid time off policy in place should review their program to ensure it is properly coordinated with the state law.  While the new law doesn’t require additional paid sick days to be provided, the same reasons and conditions for taking paid leave, such as attending to a health condition or a domestic violence matter, must likewise be available under the employer’s program.  At minimum, the employer’s policy must allow up to three days of paid sick leave per 12-month period, as well as match the accrual and carryover requirements of the new law.

 

In addition, this law contains both employee and employer notice obligations and posting requirements, as well as recordkeeping requirements.

 

San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

Beginning April 1, 2015, the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance requires employers to provide one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked by their employees who work within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Diego.  Employees begin to accrue earned sick leave on April 1, 2015, and are entitled to start using the leave on July 1, 2015, or 90 days from the date of hire, whichever is later.  The sick leave can be carried over to the following year but is capped at 40 hours. Employees may use their earned sick leave to attend to the employee’s or family member’s illness, injury or medical condition, or for events surrounding a public health emergency.

 

If an employer’s leave policy mirrors or exceeds the requirements of the Ordinance, the employer will not be obligated to change its policy.  This law contains both employee and employer notice obligations and posting requirements, as well as recordkeeping requirements.  In addition, this law must be coordinated with the California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, as above.

 

New Jersey:  Passaic, East Orange, and Paterson Sick Leave Ordinances

Early last month, the New Jersey cities of Passaic, East Orange, and Paterson passed identical paid sick leave laws.  These ordinances require private sector employers employing 10 or more employees to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year to their workforce; those employing fewer than 10 employees must provide 24 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.  Individuals entitled to paid leave are those working at least 80 hours per year in their respective Cities of Passaic, East Orange, or Paterson. 

 

Employees accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked beginning on their first day of employment and can begin to use accrued paid sick time beginning their 90th calendar day of employment.  While accrued leave can carry over from year to year, it is capped at 40 hours. 

 

Employees may use their paid sick leave to attend to the employee’s or family member’s illness, injury or medical condition, or for events surrounding a public health emergency.

 

If an employer’s leave policy mirrors or exceeds the requirements of the Ordinance, the employer will not be obligated to change its policy.  This law contains both employee and employer notice obligations and posting requirements, as well as recordkeeping requirements. 

 

These ordinances take effect based on passage by their respective city councils.  The City of Passaic ordinance becomes effective December 31, 2014; East Orange takes effect January 6, 2015; City of Paterson takes effect January 7, 2015.


 

The information contained in this article is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This article is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Please consult a CBIZ professional. This information is provided as-is with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.
 

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