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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I am a teacher at a CA Charter school, I am interested to

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Hi. I am a teacher at a CA Charter school, I am interested to know if an employment law is being broken in regards ***** ***** paid time off - as a salaried teacher - I was told that we earn 10 days a year - but it is labeled "sick time" in the paperwork but they made it clear that it can be used for vacations or other needs that there is no separate PTO accrued - they said as a reward for teachers that do not use it they will pay it out to them on a separate check at the end of the year @ the rate of the substitute teacher daily pay but my concern is that because I have been working for more than a decade my pay is higher than the daily substitute rate. At my old district in CA - those hours can be banked and carried over to the next school year which I ended up needing when I got hospitalized. And prior to disability for month I was out. And when I resigned my leftover hours/money went to my CALSTRS. The way this district is mandatory making you take the money at the end of the year but not at your pay per hour seems strange and not much like a benefit for experienced teachers to stay. Is this legal?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: At will - full-time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If it helps this charter is classified as a nonprofit


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Under California law, paid time off is wages that have been earned. That means they any remaining PTO or sick leave must be paid out at the end of employment. However, sick leave provided under the state's sick leave statute does not have to be paid out when an employee leaves. It sounds like they're calling all vacation time sick leave in order to avoid having to pay it out, as if they're trying to get around the requirement that they pay out vacation time. The Department of Labor may be interested to know about these policies.

Employers must allow employees to carry over up to 24 hours of sick leave at the end of each year. Cal. Labor Code, Section 246. When someone takes the leave, they're required to be paid at their normal rate of pay. However, since the law doesn't require sick leave to be paid out at all, there's nothing in the statute about the rate that must be used. If the same rate is used for everyone, it's probably allowed. Still, I'm concerned by their decision to give employees far more time off than required by the sick leave policy, call it sick leave, and then let people use it for vacations. It seems as if the DoL would say they have to pay you for at least some of that time as vacation time, not real sick leave.

Charter schools are exempt from a number of state and federal laws, however, there is nothing that exempts them from the Labor code.

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