The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act 2014

California enacted The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act of 2014 granting employees mandatory paid sick days.

Beginning on July 1, 2015, California employers will be required to provide paid sick days to certain California employees. Employees who work for 30 or more days within a year from the date of commencement of employment are entitled to receive paid sick days. The paid sick days accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees will be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment. An employee’s accrued paid sick days will carry over to the following year of employment.

An employer may limit use of paid sick days to 24 hours or three days in each year of employment.However, employer’s are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.

Purpose of the Law

The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act of 2014 was enacted to provide protection to California employees. The law accomplishes this purpose by doing the following:

  1. Ensuring that California workers can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families with paid sick days;
  2. Decreasing health care costs by enabling workers to seek early and routine medical care for themselves and their family members;
  3. Protecting California workers from losing their jobs while using sick days; and
  4. Providing economic security to California employees who take time off from work for reasons related to domestic violence or sexual assault.

Sick days may be used for “diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member.” Family members who are covered by the law include children, parents, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, as well as grandchildren and grandparents. Sick days may also be used for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

An employer may satisfy the requirements of the The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act of 2014 if the employer has a paid leave policy or paid time off policy that satisfies the accrual, carry over, and use requirements of the Act.