Sick pay: Employers in California

In 2014 the state of California legislature passed AB1522 – The California Health Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. This law requires all employers in the state of California to provide employees with paid sick leave.

Requirements of the law

  • The state’s new sick leave law took effect January 1, 2015. However, the right to accrue and take sick leave under this law did not take effect until July 1, 2015.
  • An employee qualifies for paid sick leave by working for an employer on or after January 1, 2015, for at least 30 days within a year in California and by satisfying a 90 day employment period (which works like a probationary period) before an employee can actually take any sick leave.
  • Sick time accrues at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked and caps at 24 hours of sick time per annum in the Wave system.
  • This law applies to all private sector employers regardless of size and to all state, county, and municipal employers.
  • Any employee who works at least 30 days within a calendar year in California (including part-time, per diem, and temporary employees) is covered by this new law with some specific exceptions. Providers of publicly-funded In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) are exempt. Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements with specified provisions are exempt, as are individuals employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew member, if they receive compensated time off at least equivalent to the requirements of the new law.

For further details, see the State of California Department of Industrial Relations FAQ on Paid Sick Leave.

How Sick Pay Works in Wave

We’ve gone ahead and set defaults behind the scenes to help you remain compliant with AB1522, while minimizing the amount of effort required on your end. All employees began to accrue sick pay on July 1st, 2015 at a rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked. They will not be able to take these sick days until 90 days after their date of hire as per the probation period outlined by the state. We have also capped accruals at 3 days per year. This will ensure you are compliant with the state of California regulations.

When an employee is ill and uses a sick day, you’ll key in the hours just as you would vacation on the Timesheets. This will reduce the employee’s sick hours by the amount keyed into the timesheet.