Starting on January 1, 2024, California paid sick leave (PSL) expands from a minimum of three days or 24 hours to five days or 40 hours, along with some other changes, including the accrual cap increasing from six days or 48 hours to ten days or 80 hours.
PSL Frequently Asked Questions Updates
The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)—the state agency that enforces the PSL law—recently updated its PSL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide clarification on the new requirements. One of the FAQs addresses the question that many employers had concerning how the 12-month period for providing PSL should be measured when factoring in that on January 1, 2024, there will be two additional days of sick leave required.
Although employers can measure this period using a typical calendar year or fiscal year for reset dates, many employers track the 12-month period using an employee’s anniversary date, which could be later than the January 1 effective date of the new requirements. How employers address this issue will depend on whether they use the accrual or up-front method:
- Accrual Method: The annual use cap must change to five days or 40 hours on January 1, 2024. For example, if an employee’s anniversary date is April 30 and the employee used three days or 24 hours prior to January 1, 2024, the employer must still allow the employee to use the additional two days or 16 hours before April 30 if the employee has accrued the additional leave.
- Up-Front Method: Employers have the option to frontload the additional two days of PSL on January 1, 2024 or they can move the reset date to January 1, 2024 and frontload five days then. For example, if an employer front loaded three days or 24 hours on May 1, 2023, the employer could either provide the remaining two days or 16 hours on January 1, 2024 and keep the May 1 anniversary frontload date or they can reset the frontload date to become January 1, 2024 and provide the employee with five days or 40 hours then.
The FAQs also confirmed that employers must provide paid sick leave required by a local ordinance if it is higher than state law. However, as of January 1, 2024, if a local ordinance contradicts state requirements regarding certain topics, such as lending of PSL or paystub statements, among others, then state law would apply instead.
Additionally, by January 1, 2024, employers must display the new PSL poster and will need to provide employees with a new Labor Code section 2810.5 employee notice if they previously provided less than five days or 40 hours of PSL.