Many dental, optometry, and veterinarian practice owners have questions about California’s sick leave laws. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how sick leave should be paid out. While this topic can be complex, there’s no need to stress. We’ve broken down both options into simple terms, providing you with all the essential information you need about California’s sick leave laws.
Understanding the requirements of paid sick days is crucial for California employers, including dental, optometry, and veterinary practice owners. According to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, employers must provide their employees with at least 24 hours or 3 workday equivalents of paid sick leave per year once the employee has worked for over 30 calendar days. It is important to note that these sick leave laws apply at the state level, and your practice may also be subject to local laws and regulations if you are based in municipalities such as San Francisco, Emeryville, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego, Santa Monica, or Los Angeles.
Are Paid Sick Days Required?
Under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, California employers – including dental, optometry, and veterinary practice owners – must provide their employees with at least 24 hours or 3 workday equivalents of paid sick leave per year once the employee has worked over 30 calendar days. Keep in mind this is only California’s sick leave laws at the state level. Your practice may be subject to local laws and regulations if you’re based in a municipality such as San Francisco, Emeryville, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego, Santa Monica or Los Angeles.
The law only requires you to pay your employees within these parameters. The method that works best for your practice for carrying that out is up to you. Below are some options.
Rollover (aka Per Hour Accrual)
Per California law, your employees need to have enough sick leave banked to cover 3 work days or 24 hours, whichever is greater. If you’re providing sick leave to your employees based upon the Per Hour Accrual Method, then you need to provide 1 hour of leave time for every 30 hours worked. At the end of the year, you must ensure each employee is able to roll over 48 hours’ worth of sick leave if they have this time remaining.
How Per Hour Accrual May Look for Your Team
If your employee accrues 60 sick leave hours over the course of the year, you would roll over only 48 of those hours to the next benefit year. If they accrue less than 48 hours, it will all roll over.
Advantages of Per Hour Accrual
Extremely accurate accrual as a reflection of service hours. Employees will only receive sick leave hours as they work.
Pitfalls of Per Hour Accrual
Tracking can be difficult. Luckily, our digital time and attendance tracking systems make this easier!
Lump Sum (aka Annual Accrual)
Your other option is to use the Lump Sum Method. With this method, you give the 24 hours to employees upfront. You wouldn’t have to carry over any sick leave, so an employee’s unused hours at the end of the year will be “lost.”
How Annual Accrual May Look for Your Team
If your employee has 12 hours of sick leave at the end of the year, it all goes away. They’d then start the new benefit year with 24hours.
Advantages of Annual Accrual
This system is easy to track. You can also put a “use it or lose it” policy in place.
Pitfalls of Annual Accrual
“Use it or lose it” policies can create a sense of urgency in employees to use sick leave they wouldn’t otherwise need. Part-time employees can take an extended period of time off in contrast to working very few hours.
For More Help With California’s Sick Leave Laws
If understanding California’s sick leave laws seems daunting, don’t worry! At HR for Health, we closely monitor your practice’s relevant laws and regulations. Our all-in-one HR software solution is dedicated to assisting the dental, optometry, and veterinary industries. Our human resources platform features all the tools practice owners need to efficiently manage payroll, timekeeping, 401(k), and more with total integration and ease.
Whether you’re seeking HR support for a small business or you’re a large group dental practice, HR for Health has a solution tailored to fit your practice and budget. Reach out to an HR for Health account representative today to learn more.