California employers need to be aware of how the state’s paid sick leave law expanded at the start of 2024. This expansion mandates that employers provide workers with a minimum of 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave per year, a significant increase from the previous requirement of 24 hours or three days. 

Under the revised law, employees in California are entitled to utilize at least 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. The state’s Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) emphasizes that specific cities or regions might adopt rules requiring a greater number of hours or days, but employers are not permitted to offer less leave than what is required by the statewide standard. If you’re unsure about the specific rules that apply to your company, an experienced employment lawyer can help you stay in compliance. 

Employers have the option to give workers the entire allotment of paid sick leave at the start of the year or apportion it over time. If a business chooses to provide it gradually, then each employee will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Based on a standard eight-hour day and 40-hour week, this means that the employee would accumulate one day of paid leave after each six weeks of work, up through the 30th week of the year. 

Employees who don’t work eight-hour days are entitled to the greater of 40 hours or five days under the new law. For example, a person who works 10-hour days must receive five full days of paid sick leave, even though the number of total hours exceeds 40. On the other hand, someone on the job five hours a day is given a minimum allotment of 40 paid sick leave hours despite the fact that it amounts to eight days of work. Notwithstanding the name, an employee does not necessarily have to be sick in order to use this state-mandated benefit. Preventative and diagnostic appointments are permissible, as well as medical visits involving a family member. 

Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation in Pleasanton provides knowledgeable counsel on the new California paid sick leave standard as well as other developments in state and federal employment law. To schedule a consultation regarding your legal needs, please call 925-468-0400 or contact us online for a consultation. We serve clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Alameda and Contra Costa counties.