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California Expands Employee Sick Leave

On September 13, 2023, California’s Legislature passed Senate Bill 616 (SB 616), an amendment to California’s paid sick leave law.  The amendment proposes the following changes to California’s current existing paid sick leave:

Increased Annual Paid Sick Leave: Annual paid sick leave would increase from 24 hours (three days) to 40 hours (five days).

Increased Alternative Accrual Cap: Employers can use the existing accrual rate (one hour accrued for every 30 hours worked).  Alternatively, employers can use a different accrual method, provided that eligible employees accrue (a) no less than 24 hours (three days) by the end of their 120th calendar day of employment; and (b) no less than 40 hours (five days) of paid sick leave by the end of their 200th calendar day of employment.  

Increased Maximum Accrual Cap: The amount of sick leave employees can accrue and carry over each year increases from 48 hours (6 days) to 80 hours (10 days).

The bill has been sent to the governor and is expected to be signed into law and take effect on January 1, 2024.  Accordingly, employers should review and update their sick leave policies and practices, if needed, to comply with the new requirements.

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