California Law Update: Governor Jerry Brown Signs Off on New Sick Leave Law – Assembly Bill 304

On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 304, an amendment to current sick leave law, thereby amending the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (also known as “HWHFA”). Assembly Bill 304 basically states that any California employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works for 30 or more days within a year from the start of employment is entitled to paid sick days for various reasons. And further, these paid sick days are to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every thirty hours works.

Why did the California Legislature implement this new law?

The goal of HWHFA is to provide enhanced job protection for low wage employees across California as a little less than half of the workforce currently does not receive paid time off for illness.

So to whom does Assembly Bill 304 apply?

This applies to all employers, whether private or public, of any size. This also applies, not only to full time employees, but part time, seasonal, and exempt employees. In addition, Assembly Bill 304 applies to employees who take a paid sick leave to care for a family member.

This Law Will Protect California Employees from Retaliation

If an employer takes adverse action against an employee or terminates an employee for exercising his or her right under this new law, then the employee may have a viable claim against his or her employer. This is because it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against an employee who advocates for, or requests or uses paid sick days.

This is Good News for California Employees

At the end of the day, this is great news for California workers. Not only does the assembly bill provide a new benefit to employees, but also provides job security for employees as well. If your employer is retaliating or discriminating against you, then you should call an employment attorney immediately.

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