California Employers Have Until July 8 to Notify Employees of New Paid Sick Leave Law

John GarnerCompliance, Legislative Updates, Resources

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, an employer must individually notify all employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 of changes to terms and conditions of employment that relate to paid sick leave within 7 days of the actual change.  Any employee hired January 1, 2015 or later should already have been notified.  Information concerning any new or previously existing paid sick leave program that includes information required to be given to each must be provided to all employees.  A revised Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) notice form, may be used for providing individual notice to these existing employees unless the employer chooses an authorized alternative method.

In view of the operative date of the law and the requirement to notify existing employees of changes in certain terms or conditions of their employment, employees hired prior to January 1, 2015, and who were provided a previous notice which was in effect as of December 31, 2014, must be notified of any change between the period from January 1, 2015 to no later than July 8, 2015.  An employer may choose to issue a new notice to all employees.  An employer may also elect to provide notice under the alternatives described in the Labor Code.  If an employer chooses an alternative method (e.g. includes notice of change in a pay stub or itemized wage statement), the employer must ensure that the required paid sick leave information (the same paid sick leave information as contained in the revised notice) is contained and is compliant with an authorized alternative manner for providing the information.

The Labor Code provides a 7 day period following the change in employment terms or conditions in which employees must be notified in writing.  This makes July 8, 2015, the final date (July 1, 2015 operative accrual date + 7 days) for providing notice of changes relating to paid sick leave to an employee hired before January 1, 2015.

While an existing employer policy may already satisfy the minimum requirements of the law and the policy may have been previously provided to an employee (or contained in an employer’s policy manual available to employees), specific notice containing information about the new paid sick leave law is now required on the revised notice form and must be made to existing employees.  Whether an employer elects to use the DLSE revised form or any alternative to be provided to each employee, the notice of change must contain information about the new paid sick leave law and how the employer intends to meet the requirements of the new law for the particular employee.  For example, a notice provided to each employee which refers to or summarizes the existing policy and contains the points of information specified in the revised notice form which is timely would be compliant with the individual notice requirement.

Here is a link to the DLSE page with the notice in English, Spanish and Vietnamese:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/resource.html.

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