Effective January 1, 2024, California increased the minimum amount of paid sick leave that must be provided to employees to 5 days/40 hours per year (up from 3 days/24 hours).  Employers are permitted to frontload sick leave (give employees a bucket of sick leave at the beginning of each year of at least 5 days/40 hours) or they can allow employees to accrue sick leave based on hours worked.  The accrual rate must be at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  If using the accrual method, employees must be allowed to carryover unused sick leave to the next year, up to a cap of at least 10 days/80 hours.  If using the frontloading method, employers do not have to allow unused sick leave to carryover to the next year.

Employers can prohibit use of paid sick leave until the 90th day of employment (but accrual commences on the first day of employment).  Employers may also limit use of paid sick leave to 5 days/40 hours per year.  

Employers should keep in mind that some cities have local ordinances with greater sick leave accrual rates.  Employees covered by those local ordinances must be provided with greater paid sick leave than the state law requires.

The new sick leave law is available here.  State agency guidance concerning the law is available here.

Employers should review paid sick leave policies for California employees to ensure they are compliant with state and local law.

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Photo of Robin E. Largent Robin E. Largent

Robin Largent has been advising and defending employers for over twenty years, primarily in California state and federal courts.  Robin’s practice focuses on the defense of wage and hour class and representative (PAGA) actions.  Robin’s practice also focuses heavily on compliance and advice…

Robin Largent has been advising and defending employers for over twenty years, primarily in California state and federal courts.  Robin’s practice focuses on the defense of wage and hour class and representative (PAGA) actions.  Robin’s practice also focuses heavily on compliance and advice on best practices to prevent and mitigate the risks of employment litigation.  Robin also regularly defends employers ranging from small, locally owned businesses to large national corporations in single plaintiff employment litigation involving claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.  Robin has substantial appellate experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal courts on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, novel issues of interpretation of wage and hour laws, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.  Finally, Robin is well-known for her former role as Editor and primary author of the California Labor and Employment Law Blog for close to a decade.