Premium Joomla Template by HostMonster Reviews

Labor Commissioner Offers Paid Sick Leave Clarifications

In an August 7 letter to Bakersfield attorney David G. Blaine, Labor Commissioner Julie Su has offered clarity as to the meaning of a "day" for the purposes of compliance with the Paid Sick Leave (PSL) mandate.  Previously, the length of a "day" for employees customarily working ten hour days was unclear.  The law that established the PSL mandate is AB 1522 the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (2014), later amended by AB 304 (2015).

The question concerned use of "front-loaded" PSL, where an employer grants an employee three "days" PSL at the beginning the year.  In that situation, is that employer obliged to grant an employee who customarily works ten hours per day 24 hours of paid sick leave (as specified by AB 1522) or 30 hours, which would be the equivalent of three days for employees who usually work 10 hour days (such as ag employees covered by Wage Order 14, or employees working subject to a flextime arrangement).

According to the Labor Commissioner's interpretation of the law, such an employer would be obliged to furnish 30 hours of PSL, as this would result in the employee being furnished sufficient PSL to cover the minimum of three days mandated by the PSL statute.

Similarly, the Labor Commissioner interpreted the "3 day or 24 hours" limitation which employers are permitted to impose on use of PSL in any given year as requiring the employer of a ten-hour employee to limit the employee to total use of 30 hours of PSL, rather than 24 as specified in the statute.  Again, the Labor Commissioner cites the general rule that the Legislature expressed its intent in the PSL legislation that employees should be permitted to take a minimum of three days of PSL, including 30 hours of PSL if the employee normally works a ten hour day.

You can read the Labor Commissioner's letter at this link.