- Written by SLG Staff
SLG has been fielding many questions from employers regarding the Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) amendment to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. The law’s application to seasonal workers has been particularly confusing to many employers, who frequently have the following questions:
Question: What happens to a seasonal employee’s accumulated PSL time when he or she is laid off?
Answer: During a layoff, employers need not “cash out” unused sick time employees have accumulated unless the employer’s policy provides for such a payout or the employer combines sick time and vacation or paid time off. Instead, when an employee is laid off, accrued sick time is carried over if the employee is hired by the same employer within 12 months.
Question: Is a laid-off employee entitled to take paid sick leave?
Answer: No. Employees are only entitled to PSL if they are currently working and have accumulated time.
Counsel to Management:
If your company has a separate PSL policy, ensure laid-off employees are credited any accumulated sick time if they are rehired within 12 months. If your company combines sick time and paid time off/ vacation, make sure to pay employees for their accumulated time when the employee is terminated, laid off, or resigns: failure to do so could elicit penalties from the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.
The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement provides answers to many PSL questions at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Paid_Sick_Leave.htm . If you have further questions, please feel free to contact SLG.
- Written by Carl Larson
“Read it before you sign it” is worthy advice for anyone. The concept applies to employers who should be sure to “read it before you draft it” as a California security company found out to its detriment this week. In Universal Protection Service, LP v. Superior Court the employer required its employees sign arbitration agreements which incorporated the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) National rules by reference. What Universal Protection Service (“UPS”) discovered later is that those rules provide for class arbitration, which it was understandably not enthusiastic about.
Generally, arbitration is cheaper and faster than traditional litigation for resolving individual employment disputes. However, this intention may not be the reality when it comes to class arbitrations which require a much heavier lift for the arbitrator, who is paid a significant daily fee and may have little experience with class actions. Normally, the gateway issue of whether a dispute falls within the scope of an arbitration agreement is a question for a Court to decide unless the agreement grants that power to the arbitrator. Where the agreement is silent, a court will decide the scope of the agreement.