Compliance Matters TM

California Expands Paid Sick Leave To Five Days Effective January 1, 2024

Since 2015, most California employers have been required to provide employees with 3 paid sick days, or 24 hours, per year under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.  Just recently, Governor Newsom signed SB 616 into law, amending California’s sick pay law to increase the amount of paid sick time to 5 days, or 40 hours, effective January 1, 2024. Employers located in municipalities with their own more generous paid sick leave laws, such as the City of Los Angeles and the City and County of San Francisco, will not be impacted by the increase in paid sick days as they are already providing employees with more than 5 days per year. The key changes to the law are summarized in detail below.

Amount of Paid Sick Leave. Beginning January 1, 2024, California employers covered by the state’s sick pay law will need to provide employees with 5 paid sick days (or 40 hours) per year. 


Accrual of Paid Sick Leave. Currently, employers using the accrual method may cap accrual of paid sick leave at 6 days or 48 hours. Effective January 1, 2024, employees must be allowed to accrue and carryover up to 10 days of paid sick leave or 80 hours. Employers using the front loading method need not carry over the unused sick leave.

Ways to Comply.

Employers have 4 ways to comply with this new requirement:

  1. An employer may continue to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked;
  2. The employee can accrue sick leave at a rate other than one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, provided the accrual is regular and results in the accrual of no less than 24 hours or 3 days of sick leave by the 120th day of employment and no less than 40 hours or 5 days of sick leave by the 200th day of employment;
  3. An employee can receive an upfront grant of 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave (whichever is greater) at the beginning of employment and each 12 month period thereafter (“front-loading”); or
  4. An employer may front load 24 hours of paid leave by the 120th day of employment, and ensure that the employee has a full 40 hours or 5 days (whichever is greater) by the 200th day of employment.

This last method essentially allows employers to impose a lengthier waiting period for new hires, as opposed to the 90-day waiting period provided under the other three methods.


Employees Covered By Collective Bargaining Agreements. Previously, employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement providing for paid sick leave and certain other benefits were exempt from California’s paid sick leave law. SB 616 limits the scope of the CBA exemption and requires employers to comply with the following portions of the law regardless of a CBA:

  • Permit eligible employees to use paid sick leave for the permissible reasons under the law;
  • Cannot require employees to find a replacement before using paid sick days; and
  • The prohibition on retaliation.

Preemption of Local Ordinances. SB 616 also amends the paid sick leave law to expressly state that certain sections preempt any local ordinances to the contrary. In other words, employers located in jurisdictions with their own paid sick leave ordinances must comply with these requirements regardless of what is provided in their local ordinance. The specific requirements are the following:

  • The obligation to reinstate accrued and unused paid sick leave for employees who separate and are rehired within one year.
  • The provision of written notice of the amount of paid sick leave available either on employees’ wage statements or in a separate writing.
  • The permissible methods for calculating the rate of pay for sick leave.
  • Employee notice requirements when taking paid sick leave.
  • The obligation to pay sick leave no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick leave was taken.

As always, if you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at (818) 508-3700 or visit us online at


Richard S. Rosenberg

Katherine A. Hren

Charles W. Foster
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