Q: In California, if an employer has a grandfathered sick leave policy, does that exempt them from timing requirements?
My employer provides earned sick leave vs lump sum hours provided at the start of the year. But they also have a use it or loose it policy, no unused sick leave is rolled over into a new year. They offer more than the min required amount of sick leave, but on Jan 1st we start over with a 0 balance.
They tell me it's because they had a policy before the CA law went into place and are grandfathered in now. I see that grandfathered plans are mentioned but not how that works. Are they exempt from the requirement that they have to allow a certain number of hours to roll over if their policy requires employees earn it as they go and they do not provide at least 3 days upfront?
A: In general, under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, an employer who had an existing paid leave policy or paid time off plan at the time the law went into effect in 2015, can maintain those policies and be deemed in compliance if the plan meets the following requirements:
(1) the accrual is on a regular basis that provides at least one day or 8 hours of accrued paid sick leave or paid time off within three months of employment, each calendar year, or each 12-month period; and, (2) the employee was eligible to earn at least three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave or paid time off within 9 months of employment.
If the grandfathered plan does not meet these requirements, then the employer may not be compliant. Additionally, if an employer changes the terms of the grandfathered plan, such as reducing the accrual amount or accrual rate, then it may no longer be complaint.
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