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It’s been more than 10 years since California enacted Labor Code § 233, commonly referred to as the “kin care” statute.In essence, the statute requires employers to allow employees to use half of their sick leave accrual to care for certain relatives if they become ill. However, SB 579 did not just focus on harmonizing the definition of “family member” between the two laws. : Christopher P. Maugans in Buffalo Business First, EEOC Releases Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace. The reason for concern here follows the recent interpretations the Labor Commissioner has made regarding the Paid Sick Leave law. LCW will provide updates on any such interpretations from the Labor Commissioner or any other governmental agency as they become available. Potential Limitation on Ability to Seek Doctor’s Notes for Sick Leave Absences Covered by the Protected Sick Leave Provisions. The following types of leave are provided for eligible … Employers are prohibited from denying an employee the right to use one-half of their annual accrual of sick leave or PTO to care for such covered family members or discharging, threatening to discharge, demoting, suspending, or in any manner discriminating against an employee for using, or attempting to exercise the right to use sick leave in such a manner. A family member is classed as: Review policies and practices related to doctor’s notes or other verification requirements for sick leave use and use caution when applying such requirements to an employee’s use of Protected Sick Leave of one-half of their total annual accrual of paid sick leave in a year. As a result, we may want to use the broader title of “Protected Sick Leave”. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact our Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, or San Diego office. Revisions to the California Labor Code section 233 (“Kin Care”) took effect on January 1, 2016. Before passing the statewide Paid Sick Leave law, California had in place the “Kin Care” law (Labor Code §233). Employee: sick leave: kin care. While the Paid Sick Leave law is silent on whether employers can request verification of the need to use paid sick leave, it does require employers to provide an employee with paid sick days upon oral or written request (Labor Code section 246.5(a)) and allows an employee to determine how much paid sick leave he or she needs to use (Labor Code section 246(j)). An act to amend Section 233 of the Labor Code, relating to employment. For example, if an employer provides 12 days of paid sick leave, the employer must allow employees to use at least 6 days of paid sick leave to care for an ill family member, subject to the same terms and conditions for an employee’s own sick leave use. Generally, the law requires employers to provide at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, or a minimum annual lump sum of 24 hours. California Supreme Court Rules "Kin Care" Law Inapplicable to Leave Plans Providing Unlimited or Uncapped Paid Sick Time. © 2020 Goldberg Segalla. Specifically, under the existing Labor Code § 233, more commonly referred to as the “Kin Care” law, employers must allow employees to take up to half of their accrued sick leave to care for a family member (thus, “kin care”). Employers should review their policies and practices related to Child-Related Activities and ensure that the changes to Labor Code 230.8 are implemented and applied to employee requests for such leave. California's kin care law, Labor Code section 233, requires that any employer who provides sick leave for employees shall permit an employee to use a portion of his or her sick leave to care for a covered relative. As a result, such Protected Sick Leave time should not be counted towards excessive absenteeism determinations, be referenced in performance evaluations, or used otherwise in any disciplinary/adverse employment actions. Under this law, no employer in California can deny an employee the right to use their sick leave entitlement to attend to the illness or preventative care of a family member. Rather, it took the more dramatic step of applying the protections of Kin Care leave beyond caring for a family member to any sick leave taken for the reasons provided under the Paid Sick Leave Law. A. SB 579 Modifications to Kin Care Law (Labor Code section 233). “Family member,” under this provision, follows the definition provided in Labor Code § 245.5, which includes the employee’s child, parent or guardian, spouse or domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling. B. SB 579 Modifies Child-Related Activities Leave Law to Now Include Time to Enroll with a Child Care Provider. Otherwise, an employer’s insistence on requiring a doctor’s certification may be deemed to be discrimination or retaliation for using Protected Sick Leave. Even though many employers recently revised their sick leave/PTO policies in light of the recent Paid Sick Leave Law, those policies that provide a more generous amount of paid sick leave should be reviewed again to ensure compliance with SB 579. In general, an employee’s initial paid sick leave usage in a year will now count towards both the Paid Sick Leave Law (greater of 3 days or 24 hours) and the Protected Sick Leave law’s protections (one-half of their annual accrual of sick leave/PTO). Employers will need to review their sick leave policies and excessive absenteeism policies to ensure compliance with the changes to Labor Code section 233. For more information or immediate guidance, contact: Goldberg Segalla is one of the largest and fastest-growing law firms headquartered in the United States, with a footprint that reaches from Los Angeles to Long Island. Under the California Kin Care law implemented in 1999, employers that offer accrued sick leave to workers must allow employees to use up to half their annual total to care for a spouse, child, parent or domestic partner who is ill. Then as now, there is no requirement under the law that any California employer must provide sick leave to employees. 2. This allows employees to use up to half of their sick leave for specific family members as defined by California law. Accordingly, any employee aggrieved by a violation of this labor code remains entitled reinstatement and actual damages, or one day’s pay, whichever is greater, and to appropriate equitable relief. California's kin care law, Labor Code section 233, requires that any employer who provides sick leave for employees shall permit an employee to use a portion of his or her sick leave to care for a covered relative. What is the rule on labor code 233 and 234 (California kin care) with a collectively bargained for employee? The major impact here will be an employee’s protection from disciplinary action or other adverse employment action based on their use of sick leave or PTO that falls under the Protected Sick Leave provisions of Labor Code section 233. What family members are included under kin care leave? This difference in definition between the two laws and the deviation in protections for employees left many employers confused about what type of sick leave use was protected and for what reasons. 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