More Headaches: Emeryville Enacts Paid Sick Leave & Minimum Wage Ordinance

Emeryville will join San Francisco, Oakland and other cities across the nation that have enacted paid sick leave ordinances.  On June 2, 2015, the city of Emeryville adopted its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance which goes into effect on July 1, 2015 (with enforcement starting July 2).  Yes, you read that right: it goes into effect only a month after it was adopted!

 Under the Ordinance, minimum wage will increase to $12.25 per hour for Small Businesses (employers with 55 or fewer employees) and $14.44 for Large Businesses (employers with 56 or more employees).

In addition to minimum wage increases, any employee who performs at least two hours of work in a given week in Emeryville will be entitled to paid sick leave.  Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, but employers may cap the amount of sick time that can be accrued annually.  Small Businesses may cap accrual of paid sick time at 48 hours per year and Large Businesses may cap accrual at 72 hours per year.  Employees may use all sick time accrued per year and carry over all accrued and unused sick time subject to the annual cap.

The Ordinance also expands the definition of “Family Member” for use of paid sick leave.  “Family Members” may include a “designated person” if the employee is without a spouse or registered domestic partner.  “Family Members” also include providing care for guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs of the employee or employee’s family member.  A copy of Emeryville’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance can be found here.

Emeryville is the 26th state or city to enact a paid sick leave law.  California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (AB 1522), takes effect on July 1 and requires employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees.  Eugene, Oregon’s Sick Leave Ordinance was set to take effect on July 1, but is preempted by Oregon’s sick leave bill which was signed into law on June 22 and takes effect on January 1, 2016.[1]  Massachusetts’ Earned Sick Time Law goes into effect on July 1 with a safe harbor provision for certain employers until January 1, 2016.

More information on Emeryville’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance can be found here.  For more information on California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, please visit Orrick’s previous posts, Chicken Soup for CA Employers: How to Stay Healthy When Implementing Your Sick Leave Plan and To Your Health: California Enacts Broad Sick Leave Law.

[1] Oregon’s sick leave law expressly preempts all local sick leave ordinances.