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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 286
Full Member

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 286
Full Member
frog in the boiling pot
Old 12-02-2018, 10:20 AM
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Unfortunately, employee rights have been constantly eroding over the last few decades. I've worked for a living since the 70s (yes, I admit it) and have seen this "frog in the heating pot" process taking place. Bit by bit, we've gone from a country of decent pay, job security, full-time employment, employee rights, and free health, sick leave, and vacation time benefits to one where most jobs are part-time, low paying, with zero benefits or job security. Many are (illegally) designated "independent contractor", depriving the worker of even unemployment benefits and allowing employers to shirk ANY and ALL responsibility. Wages have been stagnant since the 70s as well!

The people who are most exploited are the younger workers who are not aware of what "normal" used to look like and have NO idea what their rights (what's left of them) are. These days, no one in HR is likely to give you an orientation about your employee rights. HR's job is to protect the business, not you. I believe anyone who has a job needs to take time to acquaint themselves with their rights under the law. You work to earn wages, and protecting your rights is about ensuring you are treated and paid fairly.

The recently enacted (2015) California sick leave pay law requires that ALL employees (even part-time) be given a minimum of 3 paid sick leave days per year. That law covers substitute teachers as well. For California subs, it's important to know specifically WHEN you become eligible WHAT is considered a "sick day", and HOW much time you are eligible to take. Your respective school district should have made you aware of this. If not, the first step is to ask them for that information. Also, go online (google "California sick leave law") and read up on the state law. Some districts are still not in alignment with the law (or are evading it), so it's important to read up on the law yourself.

Here's clearly defined information that one of my districts (not the one I had trouble with) provided:


An employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment is entitled to paid sick leave.

Paid sick leave accrues at the rate of one hour per every 30 hours worked, paid at the employee’s regular wage rate. Accrual shall begin on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later.

Accrued paid sick leave shall carry over to the following year of employment and may be capped at 48 hours or 6 days. However, subject to specified conditions, if an employer has a paid sick leave, paid leave or paid time off policy (PTO) that provides no less than 24 hours or three days of paid leave or paid time off, no accrual or carry over is required if the full amount of leave is received at the beginning of each year in accordance with the policy.


An employee may use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.

An employer shall provide paid sick days upon the oral or written request of an employee for themselves or a family member for the diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition or preventive care, or specified purposes for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

An employer may limit the use of paid sick days to 24 hours or three days in each year of employment.

MY NOTE: For a sub to be eligible, you must already have a job that you MUST CANCEL due to illness. You can't claim sick leave if you didn't have any work lined up for that day. Your sick leave allotment should be indicated on your pay check stub. If you don't see any sick leave hours indicated and you believe you should be eligible, talk to your district Payroll office.

As for payment for training, I used to sub for a district that requires subs to take an online "Mandated Reporter" training and test every year. Without pay. It's the only district I've seen that requires subs to do that training...maybe due to the pay issue. I agree that subs should be paid for any mandatory training. But again, it's an issue that needs to be raised by those impacted: the subs.

I agree that it's important to speak up when you feel your employee rights are being denied or violated. The erosion has been going on for a long time. Only workers themselves can smell the smoke, get out of the "boiling pot," and work to improve conditions for themselves.

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 12-02-2018 at 10:45 AM..
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