Every person will likely experience a sickness that takes him or her away from work for a time, especially during cold and flu season. For some, time away from work can represent a financial hardship unless they are able to take paid leave. In California, the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act was enacted to offer paid leave to all employees, so employee rights to paid leave are now protected in the state. 

The Act was enacted in 2015 as a means to protect individuals against financial hardship caused by missing work. All workers, even those who work part-time, are eligible for the program. The program offers 24 hours, or three days, of sick leave to employees who require preventive care or diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition, and also for specified purposes related to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The employee may also take leave to support a family member for the stated reasons. 

Leave can be offered upfront to employees or earned on an accrual basis. The employee will earn one hour per 30 hours worked, and the accruals can carry over from year to year. Employers may choose to put a cap on the accrued hours, allowing only 48 hours maximum to be held. 

For workers in the state of California, paid time off is part of their basic employee rights. Unfortunately, some individuals may not be offered their legal right to paid time away from the job. In cases such as those, a person may choose to contact a lawyer for more help in having their legal rights honored. 

Source: ABC 10, “What to know about California paid sick leave laws“, Jan. 18, 2018