Legal Update: California State Paid Sick Leave Increases Starting January 1, 2024

On October 4, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 616 expanding existing California law to provide additional sick leave to most employees that work 30 days or more per year. Employers can anticipate a need to update their policies, review current paid sick leave and time off policies for compliance and confirm that their payroll and wage statements meet the new requirements.

Here are the key takeaways California employers need to know about the new paid sick leave requirements:

  • The annual usage cap for paid sick leave has increased from 24 hours (or 3 days) to 40 hours (or 5 days) annually.
  • Accrual or frontload: Instead of using the standard accrual rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, employers may use a different accrual method, as long as the method meets certain requirements. The new law adds that in addition, employees have to have accrued no less than forty hours of accrued leave by the 200th calendar day of employment, or each calendar year, or in each 12-month period.
  • Accrual Cap: Accrued sick leave still carries over from the previous year, however the accrual cap has increased from 48 hours (or 6 days) to 80 hours (or 10 days).
  • This new state law preempts any local ordinances that provide anything less than the new state requirement.

With the new law going into effect on January 1, 2024, it is a good time to review and update your paid sick leave policies. The Mitzel Group is here to assist in updating your policies and answering any questions regarding the new paid sick leave requirement.

Sign up for our 2024 Employment Law Update on January 10, 2024 for information on what new laws and changes you should be prepared for in 2024. If you would like to schedule a call or meeting to discuss your current policies please contact one of our employment attorneys.