What are employee rights for paid sick leave in California?

Many California employees might not realize that they have certain rights, under state law, that will protect them from losing their job under certain circumstance, and provide them with various benefits while they are employed. Included is the Healthy Workplaces/Health Families Act of 2014, which provides employees with paid sick leave. If an employee is subjected to a denial of benefits when it comes to sick time, they have the right to seek legal compensation. This is especially true when it comes to protection for retaliation and employees who might have been treated poorly because of using their rights to sick days.

If an employee worked in the State of California for 30 days or more within one year of starting employment and this occurred after July 1, 2015, he or she has the right to paid sick leave. There will be paid sick leave accumulating for one hour out of each 30 hours worked, and sick leave is paid at the regular wage the employee receives. This begins on the first day of work or on July 1, 2015, whichever is last.

A worker’s unused sick leave will carry over to the next year of employment. It can be capped at 48 hours or six days. An employer that has a policy for paid sick time and gives its workers a minimum of 24 hours or three days of paid time off, will not have a carryover if the state policy is adhered to. The employee can use accumulated paid sick time beginning on their 90th day of work.

An employer must give employees sick days when the employee makes an oral or written request. In addition, the employer can use their sick time for themselves, or to care for a family member.

Employees cannot face retaliation or discrimination if they exercise their right to use sick time. Employees might not understand that they have these rights and protections under the law. If there is a problem with receiving the required employee rights under the law, or there was retaliation of any kind, an attorney can provide guidance in moving forward with a legal filing for compensation.

Source: dir.ca.gov, “Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act Of 2014 — Paid Sick Leave,” accessed on May 3, 2016

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