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Sick Leave Not Mandatory In CA, But Many Employers Offer SDI

California state law doesn’t require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. An attempt by New York City to make paid sick leave mandatory there has earned the promise of a veto from current Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It appears that the City of New York will remain on par with the state of California in leaving paid sick time up to the discretion of the employer.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, the proposed requirement that businesses with 20 or more employees must provide paid sick leave is just too much of a burden on small business to pass. There is a possibility that the City Council will amass the two-thirds support needed to override the Mayor’s veto, making paid sick leave a requirement starting in 2014.

Most California employers have opted into providing the state-sponsored State Disability Insurance Plan (SDI). This plan provides partial wage replacement for workers who must take time off for medical reasons or for the birth or adoption of a child. If you need to take leave from work to care for a family member, you may be eligible for Paid Family Leave benefits.

Workers who must reduce the amount of time that they work during a week by the order of their treating physician may be eligible for partial wage replacement under the SDI program. If you are making less per week because of the reduced schedule – meaning you have suffered a loss of wages – then you may have a State Disability claim.

Any paid sick leave benefits from your employer may affect the amount you are able to claim from the State Disability Insurance program. If you are receiving your normal pay through sick leave time off, you will not be eligible for SDI. But, if the sick leave benefits you receive are less than your full paycheck, you may be eligible for partial wage replacement through SDI.

Source: BusinessWeek, “Mayor Bloomberg Says He’ll Veto Measure Mandating Sick Leave,” March 29, 2013

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