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Postings here will focus mainly on Advanced Accounting software updates, tips, and related topics. They will also include general comments relating to troubleshooting PC/Windows/network problems and may also include reference to our other software products and projects including any of our various utilities, or to the TAS Premier programming language. We considered setting up separate blogs for different topics so that users/others could subscribe to topics mostly aligned with their interests, but decided that it would be better to keep things simple since some topics cross over into others. We would nonetheless welcome your feedback/input in this regard. Our web site URL is Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.


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Friday, July 31, 2015

New California sick leave requirements effective July 1

When we first heard about the final implementation of this law effective July 1 in early to mid-July, last minute changes were still being made.   One of the impacts of the law relates to a requirement to notify employees of their sick leave availability, one of the simpler methods being via a paycheck stub or equivalent.

The law states:

246 (h) An employer shall provide an employee with written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available, or paid time off leave an employer provides in lieu of sick leave, for use on either the employee’s itemized wage statement described in Section 226 or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee’s payment of wages.

Section 226(a) outlines how employee wage payment information must be to provided to employees, and what minimum information must be provided.

With few exceptions, starting July 1, 2015 employees who work at least 30 days* for the same California employer within a one year period are entitled to the sick leave at a rate of not less than one hour per every 30 hours (see alternative method however discussed in the next paragraph).    Employees who are exempt from overtime are not exempt from receiving this benefit, but their accrual rate can be set based on 40 hours per week (unless they work fewer hours per week than 40).

*Employees can begin taking sick leave after 90 days of employment which can be restricted to a total of 24 hours; in fact, employers can provide 24 hours of sick leave in a lump sum available at the beginning of each year instead of the "one hour per every 30 hours worked" rate.   This however may not make sense for a company with a large number of part-time employees.

Various third party sources indicated that employers were required to provide employees with a notice stating sick leave "days" that were available.   Not only would that be a very confusing way to to notify employees and difficult to calculate (based on an employee's part-time vs. full-time status for example), it is not what the law states.    The law states employees are to be provided with "the amount of paid sick leave available."  Logically, that would not be "days" but rather hours.

Accordingly in mid-July, Advanced Accounting 7i paycheck stubs were updated to include that information.

The new law will require potential changes to personnel policies and added administrative burdens.

For employees of employers who would otherwise be entitled to no time-off whatsoever, the new law should be helpful and might make some public policy sense.

But for employers already offering various vacation/sick/holiday plans and for those who may offer paid "leave" for time-off without trying to distinguish as to whether it is for a "sick" day or for vacation, personal day or compensatory leave, etc. does not in our opinion make much sense.  Employers should not be placed in the position of having to be watchdogs with respect to the reason an employee might take a day off, whether planned or unplanned.  If completely unscheduled, then some reasonable explanation should be provided by the employee and the unplanned absence tracked by the employer at its discretion, but the employer should not then be placed in the position of determining whether the employee was "really" sick or not, nor whether the sick leave was taken in accordance with the type of circumstances  that might qualify as sick leave under the act.  Mandatory plans that segregate different types of leave tend to lead to abuses.    If employers want to combine their sick and vacation and any other paid leave into one package to their employees, they should be allowed to do so.  The new law does not regulate nor require vacation or other types of paid leave.   For employers who already offer more enlightened and more generous benefit programs, the new law will simply lead to a certain amount of gamesmanship and the changing of certain words in policy manuals simply to comply with the law which in the end will not likely lead to any real benefit for their workers and will simply add to the employer's administrative costs.

Background information:
State of California general link:

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