The State of California has passed a new paid sick leave law which will go into effect on July 1, 2015. This new law will require employers to provide up to three days of annual paid sick leave for employees at a rate of one hour per thirty hours worked. The law is intended to provide for the welfare of low-income workers who cannot not afford to stay home sick without pay.
This law will apply to our clients who employ domestic help (i.e., housekeeper, nanny, etc.) in their private residence. Even if a domestic help employee only works in a household a couple hours once a week, that employee is entitled to accrue paid sick leave under the new law (this law, however, does not apply to domestic help hired as independent contractors).
To be eligible under the new law, an employee must have worked in California for 30 days within a year. For example, if a domestic help employee works six hours a day, five days a week (30 hours per week total), the employee would be eligible for sick paid leave after six weeks (5 days a week x 6 weeks = 30 days worked), having accrued six hours of paid sick leave (180 hours worked/30 days = 6 hours).
The law is somewhat ambiguous as to when an employee starts accruing sick paid leave. Does an employee start accruing paid sick leave after working thirty days from the law commencement date, July 1, 2015? Or does an employee start accruing paid sick leave on July 1, 2015, if the employee has already reached the thirty days worked threshold? Professionals differ on this matter. I would err on the side of caution and pick the latter interpretation.