California is one of several states which mandates paid sick leave. The paid sick leave law applies to all employers, regardless of size or number of employees.
The law sets guidelines about accruals and usage. This is not intended to interfere with a company’s current policy but to provide a minimum sick leave requirement to establish a sick leave policy for companies that didn’t already have one.
Paid Sick Leave Law
Under the law, employees can accrue one hour for every 30 hours they work, which amounts to about 8 days of sick leave in one year for full-time employees. However, employers can limit the amount of sick leave taken to 3 eight hour days in one year. This is the minimum that employers must offer.
Employees cannot use the time that they accrue until they have been with the company for 90 days. Additionally, the employee must work for the company for 30 days in the year that he or she wants to use the paid sick leave.
No Cash Out
Employees cannot cash out this accrued time when their employment is terminated. (This is in contrast to vacation time in California.) If the employee returns within the next year, however, employees can reclaim their accrued sick time.
Sick Leave Law and In-House Policy
Employers do not have to offer this paid sick leave benefit if they already offer paid time off. If the PTO plan meets these minimum sick leave requirements, there doesn’t need to be a separate sick leave policy.
For specific questions about the law refer to the FAQ on the Department of Industrial Relations website.
Accrual By Hours Worked
Since the paid sick leave law requires that employees accrue time by their actual hours worked, employers need a method for tracking accruals by hours worked. This is a time consuming manual process, but an online time off tracking system makes it easy.