Healthy Workplace/Healthy Families Act FAQ

Paid Sick Leave for Substitute and Temporary Employees

Under the Healthy Workplace Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB1522), a new California law, non-bargaining unit employee of the Riverside County Office of Education will now be eligible to earn/accrue and use a limited amount of Paid Sick Leave. Non-bargaining unit employees include those employees who are substitutes and temporary employees. Such employees are not represented by the California School Employees Association (CSEA) or the Riverside County Office Teachers Association (RCOTA) and are not in Management, Confidential, or Supervisory positions. The Paid Sick Leave program became effective on July 1, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Paid Sick Leave apply to retirees?

A: The Paid Sick Leave law does not apply to retirees of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) that return to work without reinstatement. However, the Paid Sick Leave does apply to retirees of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

Q: When will I start accruing Paid Sick Leave?

A: Beginning July 1, 2015, if you work 30 days or more in the fiscal year, you will accrue Paid Sick Leave at the accrual rate of one (1) hour of Paid Sick Leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.

Q: When will I be eligible to use Paid Sick Leave?

A: Employees may begin using accrued sick leave on the 90th day of his or her employment with RCOE, calculated from January 1, 2015 or after, depending on when the employee was hired. For example, a substitute employee hired on January 1, 2015, will have reached the 90 days of employment at the end of March 2015, but would not have accrued any Paid Sick Leave yet. That part of the law starts July 1, 2015. Once the employee works 30 days in fiscal year 2015-2016, the employee will be able to accrue and use Paid Sick Leave. Another example, if a substitute employee was hired July 1, 2015, the employee will begin to earn Paid Sick Leave on the 30th day of actual work. That employee will not be able to use the Paid Sick Leave until after the 90th calendar day of employment, about September 28, 2015. Yes, it is complicated!

Q: What can I use Paid Sick Leave for?

A: Accrued Paid Sick Leave may only be used for absences due to the following:

  1. The diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventative care for the employee of his/her family member, as defined below
  2. Need of the employee to obtain or seek relief or medical attention necessary for the health, safety, or welfare of the employee, or his/her child, when the employee has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Q: What does “family member” mean?

A: For the purpose of Paid Sick Leave, family member is defined as follows:

  1. A child, including biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of age or dependency status of the child
  2. A biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a child
  3. A spouse
  4. A registered domestic partner
  5. A grandparent
  6. A grandchild
  7. A sibling

Q: How do I use Paid Sick Leave?

A: To use Paid Sick Leave the employee must have already have accepted a work assignment in advance. If the employee is going to be unable to come to work for one of the reasons noted above, the employee must call (951) 826-6357 and speak with the Absence Management System (AMS) Web Navigator. If the use of the sick leave is foreseeable, the employee shall provide advance notification as soon as possible. If the need is unforeseeable, the employee must call (951) 826-6357 and verbally report his/her absence to the AMS Web Navigator, but no later than two hours prior to the expected start of the work day. Personnel Services will report any approved Paid Sick Leave use to the Payroll Department. The employee may be required to provide a doctor’s note to verify the need for the absence.

Sick leave must be taken for no less than two (2) hours, not to exceed eight (8) hours in one day.

Q: How many hours of Paid Sick Leave accrual may I use per fiscal year?

A: Employees are eligible to use up to twenty-four (24) hours of accrued Paid Sick Leave per year.

Q: What happens if I don’t use my accrued Paid Sick Leave?

A: You will be allowed to carry over a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours of Paid Sick Leave to the next fiscal year. Any accrual in excess of forty-eight (48) hours will be lost.

Q: Where can I find my Paid Sick Leave accrual balance?

A: Your Paid Sick Leave balance will be shown on your paystub.

Q: How much will I be paid when I use Paid Sick Leave?

A: The rate of pay will be the substitute’s rate of pay for the position from which you are absent due to a qualified sick leave absence.