By Chris Olmsted, Esq., Ogletree Deakins
As the July 1, 2015 deadline for employers to implement California’s new paid sick leave law approaches, the California labor agency has been refining its rules relating to employee notice. The Labor Commissioner’s Office initially published the form in December 2014. At that time, the DLSE took the position that the “Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice to Employee” form must be distributed to all non-exempt employees by January 1, 2015. Many employers rushed to distribute the form to meet the New Year’s Day deadline.
However, in February of 2015, the agency modified its position. Now, according to the “Frequently Asked Questions” page on the Department of Industrial Relations website, all new employees hired on or after January 1, 2015, must be given the notice at the time of hire. As to employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2015, the notice must be given within seven days of the date that the sick plan is implemented. Since the deadline for implementation is July 1, 2015, the notice must be given to existing employees by no later than July 8, 2015.
The agency has taken the position that even if the employer’s existing written paid leave policy or sick leave policy already complies with the new law and will not be changed as a result of the law the employer must still distribute the notice.
Note: With the implementation date of this law just over 90 days away, it is time to draft new sick leave policies. Please contact your employment law attorney [or SDEA!] for help with this update.