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New year brings new laws regarding worker rights

The start of a new year is traditionally a time when individuals commit to doing something different to bring about positive changes in their lives. It also happens to be a traditional time for when new laws passed by legislatures take effect.

California might not have reputation for being traditional, but that isn't necessarily the case where the law is concerned. This year, as the clock ticked over into 2015, a number of new measures became law. Some of them deal specifically with employee rights and employer responsibilities. Over the next few posts, we will look to highlight some of them.

One measure of note is AB 1522 dealing with mandatory paid sick leave. Under the measure, starting July 1, any employee who has worked at least 30 days in a one-year period is entitled to paid sick leave. That applies whether the worker is full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, whatever. The size of the company doesn't matter, either.

Legal observers note that the law does give employers the right to limit use of paid sick leave to three days during a given year of a worker's employment. The employer can adopt a policy to pay workers for unused sick time at the end of a year or let employees roll over the time into the new year. But paid sick leave maxes out at six days. If a worker is let go and has accrued unused sick leave, the employer doesn't have to pay out.

The employment law landscape changes often. It can be difficult to know your rights and protect them. If you have questions in this regard, you should be speaking with a lawyer.

Watch for our next post to get a review of other law changes that have come with the start of 2015.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "CALIFORNIA: 5 new laws that will affect employers, workers," Richard K. De Atley, Jan. 5, 2015

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