Although California's new sick leave law doesn't go into effect until July 1, it is recommended that every small business owner consult with legal counsel long before that date to ensure compliance. Businesses must update employee handbooks and leave policies, as well as implement new record keeping practices. According to The Fresno Bee, business leaders anticipate an added administrative burden to keep track of the employees’ accrual rates.
Beginning on July 1, California employers must provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Despite its July effective date, employers had to post the notice of the employment benefit at the start of the New Year.
Employees can begin using their paid sick days on the 90th day of their employment for their own health condition, a family member's health condition and, if the employee is a victim of domestic assault, sexual violence, and/or stalking. "Family member" includes spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling, even though grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings are not considered family members under the California Family Rights Act.
Jennifer Barrera, the policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce states that: “unlike other laws that offer exemptions to small businesses, this one does not. This applies to all employers, no matter what size.”
Employees can accrue hours, but employers may limit total accrual to six days, or 48 hours. Employers cannot discriminate, retaliate or take an adverse employment action against employees who request and/or use paid sick days. Such actions will be considered retaliation. The law also says that employers will have to provide an itemized wage statement showing the sick time accrual or a separate notice every payday. Employers can request reasonable advance notice of leave.
This statewide bill is expected to be implemented across the U.S. in the upcoming years. Fortunately, with the help of online business lawyers, those who need legal advice can find guidance with the help of innovators like UpCounsel. These cyber lawyers are able to connect with potential clients in a virtual marketplace compiled of thousands of attorneys located all over the United States (including California). They are able to offer much more competitive costs for legal services since they are primarily based online and carry minimal overhead when compared to big law firms. This is an obvious advantage for companies as they adopt new policies and procedures due to the new sick leave law.
UpCounsel helps businesses and entrepreneurs to easily hire great attorneys on-demand that best match their legal needs and budget. By using UpCounsel’s virtual legal marketplace to get advice and compare free proposals from specialized attorneys, businesses save hours of time searching for legal services and reduce their legal costs by 60% on average when compared to expensive law firms. To date, thousands of companies have used UpCounsel to save millions of dollars on legal services.
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