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California's legislature may pass a law mandating sick pay.



legal updates

May 2011

California Mandatory Sick Pay Legislation Returns

By Christopher W. Olmsted

For several years now, members of the California legislature have proposed legislation which would mandate paid sick leave for private industry employers in California. The legislation is back in 2011, with a vengeance.

AB 400 would provide that an employee who works in California for 7 or more days in a calendar year is entitled to paid sick days. The law would apply to both exempt and non-exempt employees.

The sick days would accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Accrued paid sick days would carry over to the following calendar year. However, an employer would be permitted to limit an employee's use of paid sick days. Small businesses (with 10 or fewer employees) could limit an employee's use to 40 hours or five days in each calendar year. All other employers may limit an employee's use to 72 hours or nine days in each calendar year.

An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days after completing 90 days of employment.

The sick days could be used for for diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or an employee's family member, or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault.

"Family member" means any of the following: (1) a child of any age (biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis); (2) a biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee's spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child; (3) a spouse (4) a registered domestic partner; (5) a grandparent; (6) a grandchild; and (7) a sibling.

The mandatory sick pay would not be cashed out upon termination. However, if the employee is rehired within one year of termination, he or she would be entitled to use the accrued unused sick pay.

As is the case with most labor laws, here an employer would be prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.

Also par for the course, employers would be required to comply with posting and recordkeeping requirements.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved the bill on April 26th, following approval by the Assembly’s Labor and Employment Committee on April 13th.

Download entire May 2011 Legal Update in PDF format.

This article is intended as a brief overview of the law and are not intended to substitute as legal advice. Any questions or concerns regarding any statute or case law should be addressed to a licensed attorney. Copyright © 2011 by Barker Olmsted & Barnier, APLC. San Diego, California. All rights reserved.

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