AB 304 amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The bill makes a number of changes to legislation enacted last year related to paid sick days. Unfortunately it ahs not been possible to negotiate any specific education-related amendments that would help districts smoothly implement the sick day policy for substitute employees. Specifically, this bill:
1) Provides that the definition of "employee” does not include specified retired annuitants.
2) Specifies that the law applies to an employee who works in California “for the same employer” for 30 or more days within a year.
3) Provides that an employer may use a different accrual method, other than providing one hour per every 30 hours worked, provided that the accrual is on a regular basis so that an employee has no less than 24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 120th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, or each 12-month period.
4) Provides that an employer may satisfy the accrual requirements of this section by providing not less than 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave that is available to the employee to use by the completion of his or her 120th calendar day of employment.
5) Amends the law to provide that an employer is not required to provide additional paid sick days if the employer has a paid leave policy or paid time off policy, the employer makes available an amount of leave applicable to employees that may be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions, and the policy satisfies one of the following options:
· Satisfies the accrual, carry over, and use requirements of the law.
· Provided paid sick leave or paid time off to a class of employees before January 1, 2015, pursuant to a sick leave policy that used an accrual method different than providing one hour per every 30 hours worked, provided that the accrual is on a regular basis so that an employee, including an employee hired into that class after January 1, 2015, has no less than one day or eight hours of accrued leave within three months, and the employee was eligible to earn at least three days or 24 hours within nine months. If an employer modifies the accrual method used in the policy it had in place prior to January 1, 2015, the employer shall comply with any accrual method set forth in existing law or provide the full amount of leave at the beginning of the year. This bill shall not prohibit the employer from increasing the accrual amount or rate.
6) Provides that specified sick leave or annual leave benefits provided to specified state employees by statute or the provisions of a memorandum of understanding meet the requirements of the paid sick days law.
7) Provides that an employer is not required to reinstate accrued paid time off to a rehired employee that was paid out at the time of termination, resignation, or separation of employment.
8) Provides that if an employer provides unlimited paid sick leave or unlimited paid time off, the employer may satisfy a specified written notice requirement of existing law by indicating on the notice or the employee's itemized wage statement that such leave is "unlimited."
9) Delays application of provisions related to the inclusion of the amount of paid sick leave available on itemized wage statements or separate writings until January 21, 2016, for employers in the broadcasting and motion picture industries.
10) Provides that paid sick time for nonexempt employees shall be calculated in the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the employee uses paid sick time, whether or not the employee actually works overtime in that workweek. Paid sick time for
nonexempt employees shall be calculated by dividing the employee's total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee's total hours worked in the full pay periods of the prior 90 days of employment.
11) Provides that paid sick time for exempt employees shall be calculated in the same manner as the employer calculates wages for other forms of paid time leave.
12) Provides that an employer is not obligated to inquire into or record the purpose for which an employee uses paid leave or paid time off.
None of the changes in AB 304 address the specific concerns raised by education organizations about the specific amendments needed to fully implement sick leave for substitute teachers and other part-time employees. As a result, an education specific bill will be introduced in 2016.
Status: On the Senate Floor.