San Francisco Revises Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

May 18, 2018

On May 5, 2018, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement published revised rules regarding the city’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

On May 5th, 2018, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement published revised rules regarding the city’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The new rules become effective on June 7th, 2018. Please see additional information below regarding these changes to the legislation.

Covered Employees and Employers: The new rule will follow California law to determine if an employee is jointly employed. If joint employment is found, each of the employers must ensure they are in compliance with the paid sick leave ordinance. The office defines a small business an employer with less than 10 paid employees during any given week. The agency has determined that the number of employees includes full-time, part-time and temporary employees who are compensated for their work. The agency includes employees from staffing agencies, or similar organizations, in the number of employees used to determine what employers are required to offer paid leave under the ordinance.

Employee Notice, Verification, and Documentation: Employers may only request documentation necessary to determine if an employee’s absence is valid under the ordinance. Employers may require advance notice of foreseeable absences, require notice as soon as possible for unforeseeable absences, and require documentation when leave is used to attend a medical appointment. If an employer’s notice or documentation requirements are contested, the burden will shift to the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement or the employee to demonstrate the request is unreasonable.

Rate of Pay: The new rule provides that the regular rate is calculated according to state law. An employee’s exempt status is based on whether an employee is entitled to or exempt from overtime pay under FSLA and California law. Also, if an exempt employee is provided no paid leave other than paid sick leave and sick leave is taken, their regular rate of pay must continue without any deductions, but their leave balance can be reduced.

Breaks in Service: The new rule states that if an employee is rehired within one year of separation, the original period of employment is counted to determine whether the waiting period of 90 days has been satisfied. If the employee did not complete the waiting period during the original period of employment, additional work must be performed during the following period before previously and newly accrued leave can be used.

Unionized Workforces: The new rules clarify that many paid sick and safe time-related practices in a Collective Bargaining Agreement that have been deemed reasonable since the original rules will remain so, even if the CBA does not explicitly waive or reference the corresponding paid sick leave ordinance section.

Please click here for further review of the new rules.


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 This information is provided as a courtesy, may change, and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.