July 1, 2015

From Law360

By Erin Coe

With California’s paid sick leave mandate taking effect Wednesday, employers need to think carefully about how they provide and track employee sick days and when they deny a request for leave, or risk administrative fines and retaliation claims, according to lawyers.

Many employers that haven’t traditionally had paid sick leave or paid time off policies must institute a policy that tracks the law’s requirements, according to Michele Haydel Gehrke, a principal at Polsinelli PC.

“The law provides paid sick leave benefits statewide to all employees, including temporary and part-time employees who often did not receive such benefits under existing employer policies,” Gehrke said. “The law also applies to out-of-state employees who work in California for 30 or more days, which creates some compliance challenges with today’s mobile workforce.” 

Employers shouldn’t assume that because they already offer paid sick leave that they are automatically in compliance with the new law.

“Even employers with existing sick leave or paid time off policies need to examine the law’s requirements to make sure their existing policies comply, particularly in the areas of paid sick leave accrual and acceptable reasons for using the paid sick leave,” Gehrke said.

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