Governor Signs Increase to California Paid Sick Leave

Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 616, which, effective January 1, 2024, expands California’s statewide paid sick leave law to increase mandatory sick leave for employees from three days or twenty-four hours to five days or forty hours.

Employers may continue to use alternative methods to provide paid sick leave: accrual and front-loading. Under SB 616, employers may continue the accrual method, to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked, so long as an employee has accrued forty hours or five days by the end of the 200th calendar day of employment. Alternatively, employers may continue to frontload the entire paid sick leave amount.

SB 616 also increases the accrual cap for paid sick leave accrual at eighty hours or ten days. Currently, employers may limit paid sick leave accrual to forty-eight hours or six days. This amendment brings the entire state more in line with several municipalities which had instituted in piecemeal fashion more generous paid sick leave requirements since the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (HWHFA) was first enacted in 2014.

This is a significant development for employers throughout California. With slightly less than three (3) months to prepare, employers should take this opportunity to revise policies and handbooks and conduct necessary training. We are here to assist with this process, including handbook updates.


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