On July 13, 2015 Governor Brown signed into law AB304, which is the “clean up” bill that explains some of the issues that came up with the new California Paid Sick Leave law (Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act or AB1522) that went into effect July 1, 2015. The intent of this law is to clarify AB1522. AB 304 took effect immediately as an urgency statute. But, what are the changes? Let’s go over some of them:
- The employee needs to be employed by the same employer for 30 or more day to qualify for this benefit. Employers can use a different accrual method, other than one hour per 30 hours of work as long as the benefit provided is no less than the specified in the law. This means that the employee needs to have no less than 24 hours in their accrued sick leave by the 120th calendar day of employment or each calendar year.
- These sick days can be carried over the following year of employment; however, you may limit its use to 24 hours or 3 days a year. The law also says employers may not allow the carryover as long as you pay your employee those three days at the beginning of the year of employment. Remember, you can limit the accrual to 6 days.
- If the employee leaves employment in your company and he/she is rehired, within the year of separation, you have to reinstate his/her previously accrued and unused paid sick leave. However, you do not have to reinstate these days if you paid them at the time of termination, resignation, or separation.
You need to keep these paid sick leave records for three years! This “clean-up bill” answers many questions employers had; however, the new law will keep on raising new ones as business begin to implement this law, and disputes will arise over its interpretation and meaning.