Friday, December 12, 2014

California Employers Must Take Action by January 1, 2015 to Comply with the New July 1, 2015 Paid Sick Leave Law

This is an excerpt from Tamara Devitt and Kim Chase at Haynes Boone:
Required Notice, Posting, and Record Keeping
The law includes various other requirements in terms of notice, posting, and record keeping. For example, employers must keep records documenting the hours worked and paid sick days accrued and used by each employee for at least three years and provide accrual information on paystubs. Additionally, effective January 1, the new law requires that Wage Theft Prevention Act notices, which must be provided to hourly employees at the time of hiring, include a description of the paid sick leave law. The new law also requires employers to display posters regarding the new law in each workplace beginning on January 1. ... 
The law calls on the Labor Commissioner for enforcement. Although it does not expressly create a private cause of action for employees, violations of the new law might be used to support a claim for wrongful termination or retaliation. Relief available for violations includes reinstatement, backpay, payment of withheld sick time, and penalties of up to $4,000. 
Next Steps for Employers 
In light of the foregoing, by January 1, 2015, employers with employees who work 30 days or more per year in California need to: 
(1) evaluate whether to adopt the Labor Commissioner’s template poster — available here — or create a separate poster;
(2) display the poster in a conspicuous place in each workplace by January 1, 2015; and 
(3) update their new hire paperwork for hourly non-exempt employees to include the revised Section 2810.5 form — available here — by January 1, 2015. 
Additionally, prior to July 1, 2015, those same employers need to take several steps to ensure their materials and policies are up to date: 
(4) either draft a separate paid sick leave policy, or review and revise their existing paid time off or paid leave policy, to comply with the law’s requirements on probationary periods, accrual, carry over, and use; 
(5) update their payroll systems; and 
(6) update their record-keeping systems.
The California Labor Commissioner recently published a FAQ’s page to clarify certain provisions of the new law. See here.