An overview of the Paid Sick Leave Law
In 2014, California enacted the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, also known as the Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL). The PSLL covers all employers in the State of California as well as all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who have worked in California for 30 or more days within a year from the date of hire. Employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that, among other things, expressly provides for paid sick days, are not covered by the PSLL.
The PSLL currently requires that all employers provide 24 hours (or 3 days) of paid sick leave. Paid sick leave may be calculated using one of two methods – the “Accrual Method” or the “Lump-Sum Method.”
Currently, under the Accrual Method, paid sick time accrues at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked during a 12-month period of employment (or at a rate set by the employer that guarantees no less than 24 hours of paid sick time by the 120th calendar day of employment). Under the Lump Sum method, employers can front load the 24 hours (or 3 days) of paid sick time at the beginning of each calendar year or 12-month period.
Changes to the PSLL Effective January 1, 2024
On October 4, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. (SB) 616, which amends the PSLL. The following changes are effective January 1, 2024.
Collective Bargaining Agreement Employees
Current: Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA employees) are not specifically allowed to use paid sick days for the same reasons as covered employees, which are:
- Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member.
- For an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
New: CBA employees are now specifically allowed to use paid sick leave for the same reasons as covered employees and are also granted protection from retaliation for use of accrued paid sick leave.
Note: accrual rate of one hour for each 30 hours worked remains inapplicable to CBA employees.
Total Paid Sick Leave
Current: Employers must provide 24 hours or 3 days of paid sick leave that is available to use by the completion of the employee’s 120th calendar day of employment.
New: Employers must provide 40 hours or 5 days of paid sick leave that is available to use by the completion of the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment.
Cap on Use of Paid Sick Leave
Current: Employers may limit the annual use of paid sick leave to 24 hours or 3 days.
New: Employers may limit the annual use of paid sick leave to 40 hours or 5 days.
Cap on Accrual of Paid Sick Leave
Current: Employers using the Accrual Basis to calculate paid sick leave may set an overall accrual cap of paid sick leave at 48 hours or 6 days.
New: Employers using the Accrual Basis to calculate paid sick leave may set an overall accrual cap of paid sick leave at 80 hours or 10 days.
- Employers may choose to apply the Accrual Method, where paid sick leave days accrue at a rate of one hour for each 30 hours worked and a certain amount of unused paid sick leave carries over to the next year, or
- Employers may choose to apply the Lump Sum Method, where paid sick leave days are front-loaded at the beginning of the employment.