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California Paid Sick Leave Lawyer

Most of California’s workforce is guaranteed access to paid sick time under state law, and was one of the first states to ever require it. An employer cannot deny or discipline an employee for using their available paid sick leave. If either of those were to occur, it would be a violation of California labor law, and you may have the ability to file a lawsuit against your employer. 

If you believe your employer has infringed upon your right to paid sick leave, schedule a free consultation with a highly skilled Los Angeles employment lawyer at Rise Law Firm. We will stand up for your rights and ensure you are treated fairly. 

Who is Eligible for Paid Sick Leave in California?

Any employee, both full and part-time, exempt and non-exempt, who worked in California for 30 or more days within a year since being hired are eligible for paid sick leave. Paid sick leave can either be accrued at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked at the outset of their employment (the “accrual” method), or be provided up-front with at least 24 hours (three full work days) of paid sick leave each year. 

What is Covered by California’s Paid Sick Leave Law? 

Employees have the right to take paid sick leave for themselves or to care for a family member, and includes: 

  • Preventive care or diagnosis (including an annual physical or a flu shot appointment)
  • Care or treatment of an existing health condition, 
  • As a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

Family members under this law are defined as a: 

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Parent-in-law
  • Grandchild
  • Sibling

Employers can only take action against an employee if a sick day is used for vacation or other purposes not covered under the law.

How has COVID-19 Changed California Paid Sick Leave?

On April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) took effect, after being passed by Congress in an effort to expand on paid leave related to COVID-19. Under this law, employees belonging to companies with less than 500 workers may be entitled to emergency paid sick leave and/or partially paid family and medical leave if it is coronavirus-related. 

The temporary new policies under the FFCRA that refer to coronavirus-related paid sick leave are as follows: 

  • Two weeks of paid sick leave at 100 percent of the employee’s regular pay rate, if the reason for leave is due to: 
    • A local, state, or federal quarantine order; or
    • A self-quarantine advised by health care provider; or
    • Seeking diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay rate, if the reason for leave is due to care-taking for a person who is either: 
    • Under a local, state, or federal quarantine order; or
    • Self-quarantining on advice of a health care provider
  • Two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay rate, if the reason for leave is care-taking for a child whose school or daycare facility is closed due to COVID-19. The employee may also qualify for up to 10 additional weeks of expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds of their regular pay rate. 

How Much Paid Sick Leave Can an Employee Take?

Under California’s sick leave law, Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act, employers can limit the amount of paid sick leave to 24 hours (three days) in a year, which is the minimum required by law. Although employees begin earning sick time immediately, it cannot be used until 90 days after the start of employment. 

What happens once you use up all your sick leave will vary from company to company. Businesses have the option to provide more than the mandated paid sick leave, but it will depend on the employer. 

Get in Touch with an Experienced Employment Law Attorney in Los Angeles

For questions regarding your paid sick leave rights or to discuss a potential violation by your employer, contact Rise Law Firm. We are dedicated to advocating for employees and can help you with any employment law concerns. Call (310) 861-3303 to schedule a free consultation today.