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California Employers Must Now Contend with New Sick Leave Policy

September 16, 2014 - On September 10th, California State Governor Edmund G. Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act.1 Scheduled to go into law on January 1st, the act also called the California Paid Sick Leave Act, forces employers to allow for paid sick leave after a certain amount of hours worked. In California’s case, annually it is one hour per thirty hours worked up to a maximum of twenty-four hours or three days.

Employers that are affected by this

All California employers in the state having employees that work thirty or more days in one calendar year are affected by this law. This includes part-time and temporary workers. Though the law goes on the books January 1st, it will not be in effect until July 1st in order to give employers enough time to adjust to the law. However, employees will not be able to pick up the additional paid sick leave until thirty days after the law becomes effective.

Exemptions in the law

At present, there are 4 distinct groups exempt from this legislation. The largest groups not included in this legislation are those with collective bargaining agreements, (CBA) i.e. unions. In construction especially, if the workers CBA allow their employees to be paid 30% more than the state minimum wage of $9.00 an hour, they cannot collect the state mandated paid sick leave.2 Others exempted include those who provide in-home health care workers and those who work in the flight decks and cabins of airlines if they are based in California.

Not the first state

California is not the first government in the state nor is it the first state to enact this type of legislation. At the time of the signing at least three cities in California, including San Francisco, have similar legislation in place which might create complications with the new state law. Other cities in the country have similar laws including Seattle, Portland and New York City, where the size of the company dictates how much paid sick leave is required. Connecticut was the first state to pass such legislation and provide separate rules for those with more than fifty employees and those with less. At the present time, several states are contemplating similar legislation including Massachusetts who will have a referendum on the ballot when they go the polls on November 4th.3

This article was written by Associate Broker Drew Smith




About Axis Insurance Services, LLC

Axis Insurance Services, LLC is a licensed professional liability insurance broker located in Franklin Lakes, NJ with agents licensed nationwide. They offer access to high-quality insurance products in the areas of Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O), Directors and Officers liability insurance (D&O), Crime, Fiduciary, and Privacy/Network security coverage for today’s professional service firms. We work with all company types including commercial real estate firms, real estate agents and brokers, property managers, insurance agents, medical groups, practice managers, third party administrators, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers and many others.

For more information visit or contact:

Mike Smith President
Axis Insurance Services
201-847-9175 ext. 105

Please note that the above information does not constitute any legal advice. You should consult your attorney prior to implementing any employment related policies and procedures for your company.


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