Wednesday, July 8, 2015

California Employers: Are You Ready For Paid Sick Leave?

So you have employees in California.  You’ve got your new Paid Sick Leave poster up on the break room wall.  You’ve provided your employees with updated Labor Code 2810.5 forms that explain Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) entitlement.  And your payroll person hasn’t quit yet.  You’re ready – right?

Great, but let’s make sure.

Remember that as of July 1, 2015, all employees in California  -- full-time, part-time, temporary and special -- begin to accrue PSL after they have worked for you for 30 hours. Employers can limit an employee’s annual use of PSL to 24 hours or 3 days, and can limit total accrual of PSL to 48 hours or 6 days. The law mandates that PSL can be taken in increments as small as 2 hours.

PSL can be used for an employee’s own health condition or the health condition of a family member.  Family members include children, spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.

Employers do not need to pay out unused PSL at termination.  Accrued unused PSL must carry over to the following year, but can be limited to the 48 hour cap.

Employers can choose one of three methods to provide PSL benefits: lump sum, existing policy or accrual. The “lump sum” method requires employers to authorize the full 3 days of annual PSL for all employees on July 1, 2015.  From an administrative standpoint, it is the simplest method.  Employers may also choose to use or modify their existing policies, so long as they offer the required minimum PSL. If PSL is something new for your organization – or if you haven’t offered it before to part-time or temporary employees -- you may use the state’s “accrual” method, which requires that employers provide 1 hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked.

Make sure to update your payroll systems to track PSL. Train supervisors and managers about the requirements of the law and about your lump sum, policy-based, or accrual method of allocating PSL.  Employers must provide employees with regular written notice of their accrued PSL. Keep detailed accrual and usage records for three years.

Got all that?  Then you’re ready.

Posted by: Sarah Mott
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