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California’s Expanded Paid Sick Leave

by Melissa Whitehead | | October 9, 2023

On October 4, 2023, Governor Newsom signed SB 616, significantly modifying the 2014 Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (“HWHFA”). The new law is effective January 1, 2024.

Here are the key details: 

  • Employers must annually provide five days/40 hours of paid sick leave (“PSL”) to employees (increased from the current three days/24 hours).
  • Employers who use an alternative PSL accrual method (rather than one hour accrued for every 30 worked) must ensure employees must accrue three days/24 hours of PSL by their 120th day of employment, and five days/40 hours by their 200th day of employment.
  • Employers may cap total PSL accruals at 10 days/80 hours (increased from the current six days/40 hours).
  • Employers may cap an employee’s use of PSL to five days/40 hours (increased from the current three days/24 hours).
  • Employers who use paid time off policies to satisfy their PSL obligation must ensure employees are eligible to receive five days/40 hours of paid leave within six months of employment (increased from the current three days/24 hours within nine months). In addition, the program must comply with all of the other PSL requirements, such as not requiring an employee to provide notice of their need to take sick leave.

SB 616 also expressly preempts any local ordinances that are less generous than the newly expanded HWHFA.

So, it’s time to review and update your paid sick leave policies (or paid time off policies used to satisfy HWHFA requirements), ensure you are complying with the most generous of HWHFA or local ordinance requirements, update applicable accrual rates or frontloading numbers in your payroll systems, and train management on the new requirements.  We know, we know…

We’re here to help – get prepared for 2024 and join us for our annual California Employee Handbook Update webinar and one of our Annual Employment Law Update sessions!  Click the links for details.

If there’s sufficient interest, we also will offer a PSL webinar.  Let us know if that would be helpful by emailing info@shawlawgroup.com

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