There are a lot of employees in California who are uncertain about whether or not they are legally entitled to sick leave, and what their options are if they are supposed to be given leave but don’t use it, or if they fail to use it while they are employer. Under California law, all employers with fewer than 50 employees are not legally required to provide workers with any sick leave, either paid or unpaid.
However, some cities in California have other rules regarding sick leave, so check the rules for the city in which your employer is located. Businesses that have 50 or more employees must give their employees the right to unpaid sick leave. This includes leave because of a serious health condition of the employer or leave that is to care for an ill spouse, child, parent, partner, or child of a partner.
The laws that require unpaid sick leave are the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act. Under both laws, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. That leave does not have to be paid, but employers must keep the employee’s job open for him or her. In addition, California businesses that have five or more people on the payroll must provide their employees with unpaid leave for pregnancy and newborn care.
Many employers choose to provide paid sick leave. If an employer does so, the worker has a right to use it as long as he or she follows company policies regarding the sick time. Many employers have a policy that employees must use their sick time or lose it.
If an employer fails to follow the law regarding sick leave, an employee can choose to enforce his or her legal rights. If you are in Los Angeles and you believe your boss has been violating the laws regarding sick leave, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment rights attorney at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.