New Paid Sick Leave Rules . . . Already
On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 304 amending California’s brand new paid sick leave law (Labor Code 245 et seq.). The full text of the bill and its amendments to the law can be found here.
The most significant change for the wine industry is the rate of pay for sick leave. In the original law there was a complicated formula looking back over 90 days for anyone receiving commissions, variable hourly rates or piece-rate pay. There was also confusion as to whether the formula applied to both exempt and non-exempt employees. The amended law will give employers the option to pay non-exempt hourly employees their regular rate calculated from the workweek in which the employee uses paid sick time (this is the same calculation already used to determine overtime pay) or the 90-day look back calculation. It also clarifies that exempt employees can be paid however the employer normally calculates wages for paid time off.
The actual wording of amended Labor Code 246 (k) addressing rate of pay is:
(k) For the purposes of this section, an employer shall calculate paid sick leave using any of the following calculations:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) Paid sick time for exempt employees shall be calculated in the same manner as the employer calculates wages for other forms of paid leave time.