Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act: New Sick-Leave Benefits Have Begun
Sick-leave benefits have now been extended to millions of California workers. “The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” (AB1522) was signed in September by Governor Brown and will greatly impact the way many working parents and lower-income families and individuals cope with the impending cold and flu season. In turn, this means a great deal of new requirements for business owners, such as properly distributing notices to all employees.
In essence, the bill states that by allowing part-time workers to accrue paid sick-leave, not only will these individuals be able to recover from illnesses properly, but they will also be able to attend to the needs of sick loved ones (i.e., children or elderly parents). By encouraging designated recovery time without the threat of losing income, workplaces will become more productive and, ideally, healthier.
With this new legislation, new policies go into effect, so whether you are an employer or employee, here are five things you should be aware of:
- Beginning July 1, 2015, California employees will start accruing paid time off at a rate of one hour of sick leave per 30 hours worked, up to a minimum of three days, or 24 hours, per year;
- Employers must include information regarding the amount of sick leave available on each employee’s paystub or in an attached document;
- Employers must comply with additional notice requirements upon hiring new employees;
- Employers may be penalized for firing or demoting employees within 30 days of a sick leave dispute filed with the Labor Commissioner; and
- Compensation for unused sick pay accrued pursuant to AB 1522 is generally not required after termination of employment.
For further reading on the new requirements, click here. As always, whether you need assistance with preparation of employee handbooks, employment agreements, or should you have questions regarding this legislation and how it will impact you, the attorneys at Smith, McDowell & Powell are here to help guide you through these changes.