Employer Notice Obligations Under California's New Paid Sick Leave Law

Cooley Alert
April 27, 2015

As we previously reported, the California Legislature passed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which requires that companies provide their employees working 30 or more days a year in California with at least 3 days (or 24 hours) of paid sick leave per year, starting July 1, 2015.

Even though the obligation to provide sick leave does not begin until July 1, 2015, employers should already be displaying in a conspicuous place in the workplace the poster developed by the Labor Commissioner informing employees of their rights under the new law. The new poster is available here.

The Labor Commissioner has also issued a revised Notice to Employees under the Wage Theft Prevention Act (codified at Labor Code section 2810.5). The Wage Theft Prevention Act requires that all non-exempt employees be given a notice about their wages and other employment-related information at the time of hire and within seven days of any changes. The Notice to Employees under the Act has been revised to inform employees about their entitlement to sick leave, and to provide information about any new or previously existing sick leave policy. The revised notice is available here.

The Labor Commissioner has clarified, in answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the new sick leave law available here, that new employees hired on or after January 1, 2015 must be given the updated Wage Theft Protection Act notice at the time of hire. For employees hired prior to January 1, 2015, the notice must be given within seven days of the date that a new sick plan is implemented or, if the employer's existing sick leave or paid time off ("PTO") policy remains unchanged, no later than July 8, 2015 (seven days after the sick leave entitlement goes into effect). Employers need not use the Labor Commissioner's form notice, as long as employees are given a writing that summarizes the employer's sick leave policy and contains the same paid sick leave information as in the Labor Commissioner's revised form. Although the Wage Theft Prevention Act's notice requirements do not apply to employees who are exempt from overtime, employers are encouraged to ensure that all employees are made aware of the law and how the company intends to comply.

The time for providing paid sick leave is just around the corner. Companies that have not already done so should review and revise their existing sick leave or PTO policies for compliance with the new law. To discuss these issues further or pose questions about this Alert, please contact one of the attorneys shown.

This content is provided for general informational purposes only, and your access or use of the content does not create an attorney-client relationship between you or your organization and Cooley LLP, Cooley (UK) LLP, or any other affiliated practice or entity (collectively referred to as “Cooley”). By accessing this content, you agree that the information provided does not constitute legal or other professional advice. This content is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction and you should not act or refrain from acting based on this content. This content may be changed without notice. It is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up to date, and it may not reflect the most current legal developments. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Do not send any confidential information to Cooley, as we do not have any duty to keep any information you provide to us confidential. This content may be considered Attorney Advertising and is subject to our legal notices.