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California paid sick leave expanded

What employers need to know

Posted October 13, 2023

On October 4, California Governor Newsom signed SB 616, expanding the state’s paid sick leave law known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act.

Impact on California employers

Effective January 1, 2024, employees will be entitled to take up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave, rather than the current three days (24 hours).

Presently, employers may cap an employee’s banked, accrued paid sick leave at 48 hours or 6 days. As of January 1, 2024, however, employers will be able to cap the amount only at 80 hours or 10 days.

Employees accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours of work.

Who is eligible for paid sick leave?

Full-time, part-time, and temporary workers are eligible to take the leave if they meet these qualifications:

  • Work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year in California, and
  • Complete a 90-day employment period before taking any paid sick leave.

Employees may take paid sick leave to:

  • Tend to their own physical/mental illness or injury;
  • Seek a medical diagnosis, receive treatment, or access preventative care; or
  • Care for a family member who is ill or needs a medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care.

Under the law, when an employee accumulates an amount of leave that equals the “cap” amount, they no longer accrue more but they may immediately restart accruing more leave when they use leave, and their banked amount falls below the cap.

Instead of allowing employees to accrue the leave, employers may choose to front-load all the paid sick leave at one time.

This article was written by Darlene Clabault of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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