California Increases Statewide Paid Sick Leave Minimum to Five Days/40 Hours

Effective January 1, 2024, California Senate Bill (SB) 616 amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, increasing the number of paid sick days (or hours) to which California employees are entitled each year from three days (or 24 hours) to five days (or 40 hours). Employers continue to have the option to provide paid sick leave by the accrual or lump sum (front load) methodologies.

Under the accrual method, the amended law now requires employers who use this method to ensure an employee will accrue no less than five days (or 40 hours) of accrued sick leave by the 200th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, or in each 12-month period. Additionally, for employers using the accrual method, the new law increases the accrual and carryover cap to 10 days or 80 hours. There is no carryover required for employers using the lump sum method.

Employers are not required to pay out an employee for accrued but unused paid sick days at the end of employment, although employers must reinstate unused paid sick days if an employee is rehired within one year. They must also provide employees with written notice that lists the amount of paid sick leave available either on the wage statement or in a separate writing provided on the pay date.

Employers should revise their handbooks and policies to reflect this important change in the law. We can help with this.


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