On September 10, 2014, California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (California’s sick leave law) became law.  The new law requires most employers to allow employees to accrue up to three days of paid sick leave per year based on an accrual of at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  California’s sick leave law does provide for various accrual caps, in deference to employers that already have a paid time off (PTO) policy meeting certain standards, as well as various other exceptions.  Employees may use the paid sick leave to care for themselves or other family members.  Notably, the new law imposes notice, posting and record-retention obligations with which employers must now comply.

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As the economy continues to rebound and the United States again starts to see more movement in the employment market, employers are once again revisiting their severance pay and retention policies and developing an underlying rational of whether or not to provide these benefits and if so, how broadly among their workforce. However, it has become apparent that not everyone really understands the difference between severance arrangements and retention agreements and when one should be used instead of the other. Each accomplishes a different purpose and understanding the fundamental differences between the two will allow professionals to make an educated decision regarding which option is best for a given organization depending on its existing circumstances.

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