New Law Requires California Employers to Provide More Paid Sick Leave


   Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that will expand paid sick leave from three days or twenty-four hours a year to five days or forty hours. Senate Bill (SB) 616 impacts all California employers and will take effect on January 1, 2024.

      According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77 percent of the private sector workforce has paid sick time. Union workers receive an average of ten days a year, 

      “Too many folks are still having to choose between skipping a day’s pay and taking care of themselves or their family members when they get sick,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re making it known that the health and wellbeing of workers and their families is of the utmost importance for California’s future.” 

      Employers may continue providing paid sick leave at one hour for every thirty hours worked. If employers use a different accrual rate, employees must accrue forty hours by their 200th day of employment, in addition to accruing at least twenty-four hours of PSL by their 120th day of employment. Employers also may frontload the entire paid sick leave amount.

      Under SB 616, employers can cap paid sick leave accrual at eighty hours or ten days. Currently, employers may limit paid sick leave accrual to forty-eight hours or six days.

      Working sick reportedly costs the nation’s economy $273 billion annually in lost productivity. 

      “Women and mothers are the default caregivers of sick family members. As such, they are more likely to be harmed by disrupted or lost wages when they need to take time off work,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “More paid sick days for ALL California workers will help ease this distinct burden on women and bolster their economic security.”

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