How does California view paid sick leave?

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2021 | Firm News

Being an employer in California is an exciting prospect, with booming industries and plenty of eager job candidates. It can feel easy to lose yourself in the upsides of running a business. But, as plenty of headlines show, every move you make can bring inevitable risk.

In particular, one aspect that consistently grabs headlines are claims made by employees who feel that their employer has wronged them. Not only can these be costly to litigate, but the damage it inflicts on a business’s reputation can be equally harmful. On particular employment matter that can be key to know more about is paid sick leave.

How does it work?

When an employee’s health concerns (whether it be their own or a loved one’s) require them to take time off work, California has regulation in place that applies to all businesses. Here’s a brief breakdown by the numbers.

30 days: The number of days an employee has to work in the span of a year (beginning with their first day), in order for them to claim paid sick leave.

1 hour: How much paid sick leave that employee earns after they work for 30 hours. This is obviously the interval, not a “one and done” deal.

While general practices fall under this statewide regulation, certain aspects of the process fall in the lap of whatever policy you set for your company. This can include reimbursement for unused sick days at the time of that employee leaving the company.

How to prevent claims from occurring

While you certainly can’t keep an employee from filing a claim about paid sick leave, you can take measures to prevent that claim from having adequate standing. In fact, the Golden State has measures that employers need to abide by to make policies evident to the employees who utilize them. Two such obligations are listed in the paragraph below.

The policies that define paid sick leave need to be both public information (most commonly on display in a business) as well as privately communicated to an employee when they first join the workforce. Due to the one hour of sick leave per 30 hours of work system, having a way to keep track of those hours and inform your employees can keep both sides accountable.

If you’re facing a claim from an employee who states that you did not abide by the rules of a paid sick leave policy, it is common to feel stress, even if you followed policy. In situations like this, it can be wise to connect with a professional advocate who is familiar with employment policies in California.