California Amends the Paid Sick and Safe Leave Lawfunny looking sick woman - small
Employers, don’t get too comfortable! Just as California’s paid sick leave law (the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014), became effective the Governor signed a July 14 bill amending it. Some of these significant and welcomed changes include:

  • Defined salary calculations:
    • For nonexempt employees, employers may choose to 1) calculate paid sick leave the same as the regular pay rate for the workweek, or 2) calculate paid sick leave by dividing the total wages, excluding overtime, by the  total hours worked during full pay periods from the prior 90 days
    • For exempt employees, paid sick leave is calculated in the same manner as other forms of paid leave.
  • Alternative accrual methods, including the original method (1 hour for every 30 worked), frontloaded (24 hours or 3 days at the start), or providing a set amount per pay period or quarter. Carryover is still required unless the full amount of leave is frontloaded.
  • Eligibility clarification indicating that an employee must work for the same employer for 30 or more days within a year of the start of employment to be eligible.
  • Allows an employer to calculate “a year” based on employment year, calendar year or 12-month period.
  • Wage reporting that permits employers with unlimited leave to state “unlimited” on the itemized wage statement.

The full text of the amendment is available here:

Maryland Sets the Stage for the Next Paid Sick Leave Venue
On July 2, Montgomery County, Maryland passed the first county-level, paid sick and safe leave law in the nation, effective October, 2016. The bill requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide 7 paid days off that can be used for an employee’s or family member’s health matters, public health emergencies, and domestic violence. Smaller employers must also provide time off, but only 4 of those days must be paid.

While several similar bills have been proposed at the state level in Maryland, they haven’t made it through the legislature.  The momentum for mandatory paid sick leave continues to grow, bypassing the state process and moving into the more agile municipal environment (see e.g. Philadelphia, Tacoma, WA, San Diego, CA, and multiple NJ cities).

Reed Group is Helping Clients Prepare for Changes Ahead
As more state and municipal governments push forward with paid sick leave legislation, employers need to stay on top of complex requirements for eligibility and administration, especially those with employee populations that span multiple states. Reed Group provides flexible products and services that help companies navigate the increasingly complex sick leave landscape. For more information, and help developing a proactive plan for dealing with the potentially troubled waters ahead, please feel free to contact us.

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