If you are in the California area and currently job hunting, first of all, good luck! We hope you get what you are looking for. However, before you commit to a job contract, you should bear in mind some financial and health-related considerations, which are very important but sometimes overlooked.
First of all, please look into the Affordable Care Act and its regulations regarding which employees are covered. Second, check your local sick pay regulations. For both issues, look into the business you are considering working for and read their personal policies, as they will vary. Bear in mind that for both issues, the size of the company and the hours you would be contracted to work will affect your eligibility.
Hours, Company Size, and Health Coverage
If, like many Americans, accessing affordable healthcare is one of the big considerations you make when job hunting, do not forget to check how many hours a week you will be required to work. It varies by state what counts as full-time, for instance, in California, it is 40 hours per week. However, you should note that under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), workers are considered full-time if they work at least 30 hours per week.
In fact, larger employers, with at least 50 full-time employees, are legally required to offer healthcare benefits to employees working at least 30 hours per week, or at least 130 hours in a month. If they do not offer health coverage under these circumstances, they are required to pay a tax penalty. For smaller employers, with 50 employees or less, offering health benefits is left up to the employer.
This might all seem overwhelming, but the main takeaway here is never to take for granted that your new job will offer health care. Read more about the Affordable Care Act compliance on this site. Remember, it is not only about the hours you are contracted but the size of the company. Small companies might not be required to offer you coverage. Check before you commit!
Sick Pay Laws and Practices
Another financial and health consideration to make is your access to paid sick leave. While there are laws protecting workers’ rights to sick pay in California, employers can limit access to paid sick leave. Moreover, once again, it depends upon the size of the company and the hours you have worked.
Under California state law, you have to work at least 30 calendar days within a year in the state of California, for the same employer, to be entitled to paid sick leave. Employees earn 1 hour of sick pay for every 30 hours they have worked. You can earn up to a maximum of 48 hours (or 6 days) of sick pay per year. However, some California employers will limit employees’ use of paid sick time to 24 hours (or 3 days) in a year.
Depending on the region of California that you are working in, small businesses are required to pay employees’ sick pay only if they have over a certain number of employees. Check your local regulations before agreeing to work for a small company.
Time taken off work as paid sick leave is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, either for the workweek in which the paid sick leave was taken or their average income over a 90-day period. Remember that if your work is seasonal or irregular, one of these calculations might produce results much lower than the other, and that is up to your employer and their policy.
Before we wrap up these two key considerations, here is a note on the legal minimum wage in California. This too depends on the size of the company. If the business you are considering working for has 25 employees or less, as of January 1st, 2022, the minimum required wage is $14.00 per hour. If the company has 26 or more employees, the minimum wage is $15.00 per hour. These wages are expected to rise one dollar in January 2023.
This has been a very brief guide to understanding two crucial financial and health considerations that need to be made when job hunting. First, you absolutely need to look into Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, and its regulations on who qualifies for health coverage through their employer.
Second, look into your local regulations on sick pay and the company’s personal approach to sick pay allowances. By looking into these two factors and ensuring you qualify for both, you will be setting yourself up for better financial security and peace of mind in knowing you are covered for health crises. Good luck job hunting!