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Integration/Coordination of Sick Pay with SDI benefits California

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  • Integration/Coordination of Sick Pay with SDI benefits California

    If an employee regulary earns $1000 a week & gets $450 as sick pay to complement $550 of SDI benefits for the week, can the employer deduct 40 hours from the employee's sick balance? Since the employer is paying only @45% rate should it be only 18 hours? What if the employer has a minimum 4 hr increment policy for sick pay (&8hour increements for exempt employees)? Any link to EDD site or CA Labor code would be great.
    What if the employer made error & deducted 40 hrs sick pay in above example. Can past employees demand the sick pay for past unpaid leave? How far back can they go?

  • #2
    There is no CA sick pay law. There is no official CA rule on these types of questions. CA is perfectly fine with you never paying sick pay for any reason. The feds are (mostly) fine with you never paying sick pay for any reason. Now if you create a policy that steps on Title VII or FMLA, then all bets are off. But that would be equally true if there were no sick pay.

    Now having said that, could prior company actions have somehow painted the company into a corner on this? Sure, why not. But a good rule of thumb is to make sure that you are in compliance with rules that actually exist, like say FLSA 29 CFR 541.602 (Exempt Salaried employee handling). Past that, I can say that what you describe certainly could be legal. But since I have not actually read all of your company policies, reviewed all of your companies prior related actions, I can at most say that the actions are probably legal.

    Example of a hopefully extreme company policy.

    The company agrees to pay full and complete sick pay to any employee who says they are sick. Because the company has a honor system, the company intends to take all employees at their word that they are sick. And because it is the right thing to do, the company will never fire or lay off sick employees. The company fully intends this policy to be a legally binding contract under California law. And because as part of our helping people who need it policy, we have hired a raving lunatic to write our company policies.

    While this is hopefully over the top, and while the vast majority of company policies are not legally binding contracts, some of them in fact have been found as such by courts. Point of fact, company policies, statements and actions can and do have long term impacts, if not always the intended impacts. Smart employers have trained professionals write their policy. Cheap employers who are not fools at a minimum buy one of those canned HR manuals on CD-ROM. But anyone who is professional in something else other then writing legally sound state specific policy manuals thinks that this is something that anyone can due correctly is kidding themselves.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Agree there is no sick pay law in Ca. except for the city of San Francisco.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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