By Admin October 30, 2023 Category: Employment Tags: california business law California Employers California Labor Law California Sick Leave Law California Workplace chase law group chase law manhattan beach deann chase employment law Employment Law Changes Employment Legislation hr compliance Labor Laws Legal Updates los angeles attorneys Paid Sick Leave 2024 SB 616 Update scott k liner Sick Leave Requirements small business law Workplace Policy
Effective January 1, 2024, California will require all employers to increase the amount of paid sick leave to their employees from the current requirement of 3 days to the new requirement of 5 days per year. The new law, SB616, signed by Governor Newsome on October 4, applies to all employers regardless of size. Note that certain municipalities provide greater paid sick leave, such as the City of Los Angeles. Employers that fall under those municipalities’ laws must provide the greater amount of paid sick leave and also comply with the requirements set forth below.
The new law increases the amount of accrual cap (the amount an employee can carry over into a new year if their allotted paid sick leave is not used in a given year) from 72 hours to 80 hours or 10 days, whichever is greater. Also, like before, employers under the new law, can frontload the paid sick leave each year, or they can have it accrue over the period of employment. For employers who allow paid sick leave to be accrued throughout the year, employers can continue to provide one hour for every 30 hours worked or as permitted under the new law they can provide a different amount of accrual so long as the employee has no less than 24 hours of accrued leave by the completion of their 120th day of employment and having the same amount by the completion of the 120th day in each subsequent year. Additionally, employees must have accrued no less than 40 hours of leave by the 200th day of employment and the same amount by the 200th day in each subsequent year. So, all 5 days of paid sick leave must be available by the 200th day.
For employers who elect to frontload the paid sick leave at the beginning of the year, California’s existing state law, allows employers to provide no less than 24 hours or 3 days of paid leave for the employee to use by the time they complete their 120th day of employment. Essentially, this option allows employers to impose a lengthier waiting period for new hires when frontloading is used than what the current law otherwise allows (an 89-day waiting period, per the state labor department) when accrual is used. But under SB 616, in addition to providing the frontloaded 24 hours/3 days of paid leave by the 120-day mark, employers must also ensure that the employee has no less than a total of 40 hours or 5 days of paid leave (between the initial 120-day frontloading and the subsequent 200-day frontloading) for the employee to use by the time they complete their 200th day of employment. This new law allows for employers to frontload paid sick leave in a more piecemeal fashion rather than having to provide it all at once. That being said, simply frontloading the entire paid sick leave at the beginning of the year is the simplest way to proceed and easiest to track.
Note that just like the current paid sick leave law, the amount of accrued paid sick leave must be reflected on employees’ pay stubs, can be used for the employee’s own illness or that of a family member and is not paid out upon separation. Finally, for employers that provide paid sick leave as part of paid time off (PTO) policy, combined with other leave including vacation, they still must comply with the paid sick leave accrual and other requirements set forth above including when paid time off can be first used.
Based upon the new paid sick leave law requirement, you should revisit your paid leave policies to ensure they are in compliance before the start of the new year. Please contact our employment attorney Scott Liner at [email protected] or call us to set up a consultation at 310-545-7700 to help with any questions or assistance in updating your paid leave policies.
Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended to consult with an attorney for specific legal guidance pertaining to your business and its practices.