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CA Employers Must Give Employees 3 Paid Sick Days Per Year Starting In 2015

Thomas M. Lee

Early Saturday morning, the California Legislature voted to significantly expand working Californians’ access to paid time off for illness.

Gov. Jerry Brown was sent AB 1522, which he applauded. AB 1522 enacts the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The Act requires most employers in the state to give workers at least three paid sick days a year beginning July 2015.

“Tonight, the Legislature took historic action to help hard-working Californians,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement after the bill passed. Supporters say it would help about 6.5 million Californians.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who authored the bill, AB 1522, said her measure would protect workers from being laid off for being sick or for caring for a loved one who is ill.

Under the proposal, employers would be required to provide the sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year of being hired. Leave time would accrue at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked.

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 provides that an employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes, to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment. The bill would authorize an employer to limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours or 3 days in each year of employment. Further, employers will be prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.

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