WILL CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS HAVE TO COUGH UP PAID SICK LEAVE? « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Constructive Remedy or a Job-Killer?

The California Assembly passed earlier this year the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (Assembly Bill [AB] 1522), sending it over to the Senate for consideration.  If passed into law, the measure would mandate all employers to provide at least three paid sick days per calendar year to all workers who qualify.  There is currently no sick pay requirement under federal or California law. See our article, Don’t get Sick of Sick Pay – An Overview of California Paid Sick Leave.

This is the Legislature’s third attempt to enact such a law (previously in 2008 and 2011).   In its current form, AB 1522 would direct that eligible workers earn (accrue) at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and may start using such benefits after three months of employment.

The California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO supports AB 1522 contending it will  guarantee “every California worker paid time off to recover from illness, care for a sick family member, or bond with a new baby. AB 1522 also protects workers claiming this benefit from employer retaliation.”  While observing that many employers already voluntarily offer non-accruing sick leave to full-time workers, the California Chamber of Commerce’s objects to the bill for its creating a “huge burden” on employers through required expansion of benefits to temporary, seasonal, and part-time employees.

Connecticut is currently the only state that requires paid sick day benefits. Several cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, mandate such benefits.