New California Law Requires Sick Leave
California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed into law a measure that mandates that employees who work 30 or more days in a year earn a minimum of three paid sick days. The law applies to both full-time and part-time workers.
With that law, the state joins Connecticut as the only other in the country that requires sick leave for part-time employees.
In California, the formula is that an employee earns one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers are permitted to cap earned sick leave at three days in a calendar year and to roll over some unused sick leave from one year into the next.
“Whether you're a dishwasher in San Diego or a store clerk in Oakland, this bill frees you of having to choose between your family's health and your job.’ Brown said in a prepared statement. “Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first.”
An estimated 6.5 million California workers had no sick leave benefit before passage of the law, according to Brown. Now, all but a handful of Californians will be covered.
At least some Golden State credit union executives expressed dismay with the law.
Stuart Perlitsh, president/CEO of the $338 million Glendale Area Schools Federal Credit Union in Glendale, said, “It was never expected that part-time employees would accrue sick time, vacation time, paid holidays. Small business owners will have additional labor expenses and this, of course, will be passed through to the merchandise (and) commodities sold at retail. The Happy Meal will jump from $5 to $10.”
Gregg Stockdale, president/CEO of the $34 million 1st Valley Credit Union in San Bernardino, sighed, “Just another way to shove business out of California.”
Jeremy Naftel, an employment lawyer with Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger’s Sacramento law office, said that his sense was that for many employers, the burden was not necessarily in providing the time off but rather, in keeping the detailed paperwork required to establish employee eligibility for paid sick leave.
“It’s complication on top of complication,” Naftel said. “This is a big headache for small business.”
Will other states follow California and Connecticut’s leads?
“I believe we may very well be seeing the beginning of a national trend increasing the benefits of the average worker, whether it be paid sick time or a discussion around raising minimum wage,” Chris Gallagher, SVP at Special Counsel, a national legal staffing provider, said, adding, “other (states) may likely push through similar measures.”
When CU Times contacted the California Credit Union League for a response to the new law, the league said it had not taken a position.