Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave In California? - Aiman-Smith & Marcy
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Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave In California?

California’s new sick leave law took full effect on July 1, 2015. The new law requires that most employees be permitted to use, at minimum, 24 hours of paid sick leave a year, while the cap on the accrual of sick leave cannot be less than 48 hours.  Several cities in California such as  Oakland and San Francisco have strengthened employees rights by requiring employers to offer more paid sick leave than that required by California’s sick leave law. Employers that have employees throughout California are required to comply with the law that applies in the local in which an employee works.

Oakland’s 2015 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Oakland requires that every employee that works at least two hours per week in Oakland accrue, at minimum, 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Businesses with less than 10 employees may put a cap on accrual at 40 hours, however, under California’s sick leave law employers are still subject to the statewide cap of 48 hours.  Businesses with 10 or more employees can cap accrual at 72 hours. An employer may restrict or prohibit the use of accrued sick leave during an employee’s first 90 days of employment. As for an employer that has a sick leave policy in place that provides more time than required under the ordinance or law, no change or additional sick leave time allowance is necessary. Sick leave may be used to care for a sick family member.

San Francisco’s 2007 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

San Francisco was one of the first cities in the nation to require that employers provide paid sick leave. The sick leave ordinance requires most employers to offer sick leave to individuals working within the city and county of San Francisco. After the first 90 days of employment, an employee shall accumulate, at minimum,1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours the employee works. The minimum cap on accrual is based on how many employees an employer has. The cap for employers with more than ten employees is 72 hours. San Francisco’s sick leave ordinance also permits the use of paid sick leave to care for a family member.

What Does This Mean For Employees?

California employers now face the challenge of keeping up with and being compliant with local paid sick leave ordinances that differ than statewide requirements for paid sick leave.  Employers are required to comply with the law and take no action against an employee for exercising his or her right to paid sick leave. When an employer does not comply, the employer may be subject to fines and penalties. Employees that are denied their right to sick leave paid for by the employer, may seek compensation.

If you believe that you were wrongfully denied paid sick leave, call Aiman-Smith & Marcy at 510-817-2711 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our paid sick leave attorneys, Randall Aiman-Smith, Reed Marcy or Hallie Von Rock.