California Paid Sick Leave Posting and Notice Requirements Take Effect January 1, 2015
As California employers know, California recently enacted a statewide paid sick leave mandate for California employers. Although employers need not start providing paid sick leave benefits until July 1, 2015, the law’s posting and notice requirements take effect January 1, 2015, according to guidance published this month by the California Labor Commissioner’s office. This means that beginning January 1, 2015, California employers must display a poster in the workplace informing employees of their paid sick leave rights under the new law. The Labor Commissioner’s office has published a template poster that employers may use to satisfy the posting requirement. The template poster is available here. Note that in many instances, an employer’s paid sick leave policy (or a combined paid time off policy) may provide for more generous benefits than required under the new paid sick leave law. In such circumstances, the employer may want to revise the template poster to accurately reflect the specific paid sick leave benefits the employer provides. Alternatively, employers may consider posting the Labor Commissioner poster along with their own specific policy.
In addition to the posting requirement, employers must also begin complying with the law’s notice requirement effective January 1, 2015. Under the law, employers are required to provide non-exempt employees with information, upon hire, on their paid sick leave benefits as part of the Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice (Labor Code section 2810.5). Post-hire, a revised notice is required to be provided within 7 days of any changes to the paid sick leave policy (this will also apply to employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 where the employer is adopting or modifying paid sick leave policy). Although this notice is only required to be provided to non-exempt employees, employers certainly are permitted to provide the notice to exempt hires as well. The Labor Commissioner’s office has published a template notice that employers may use.
Displaying the paid sick leave poster and providing notice of paid sick leave benefits beginning in January is likely to cause some confusion for employees whose leave entitlements will not begin until July 2015. Where applicable, employers can modify the text of the Wage Theft Prevention Act notice to make clear that paid sick leave benefits do not begin accruing until July 1, 2015.
The Labor Commissioner’s office has also posted on its website some frequently asked questions and answers relating to the paid sick leave law. California employers are encouraged to review this guidance here to ensure their paid sick leave policies and practices are in compliance with the new law, as interpreted by the Labor Commissioner.