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California Paid Sick Leave Gets an Increase

26 Oct

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Update Applicable to:

All businesses who have employees performing work in the state of California. Employee count is based on total number of employees regardless of location. This is just an amendment to the existing Paid Sick Leave Law.

What happened?

On 10/4/2023, Governor Newsom signed SB-616 into law. Employers should prepare for the change, which is effective January 1, 2024.

What are the details?

SB 616 seeks to significantly expand the entitlement to paid sick leave for California workers. The amendment will increase the minimum number of paid sick leave days provided by employers.

The paid sick leave law applies to virtually all employees regardless of status (full-time, part-time, per diem, and temporary or agency employees). It also applies to non-exempt and exempt employees, and to businesses of any size (with the exception of five very limited statutory exceptions laid out in Labor Code Section 245.5(a)

The revision extends the period from three days or 24 hours to five days or 40 hours for eligible employees. This expansion has significant implications for various aspects, such as the annual allowance of paid sick leave available to eligible employees and the mandatory amount of paid sick leave that employers adopting a frontloading arrangement must provide to prevent accrual and year-end carryover obligations. Additionally, the modification increases the cap on California paid sick leave accrual from 48 hours to 80 hours.

The law amends Sections 245.5, 246, and 246.5 of the Labor Code.

For more information, please see the links below:

Official Bill: SB-616

Original Fact Sheet prior to recent amendments to the bill: Link (previously seven days; now five days)

Law Firm articles: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5

What do employers need to do?

Effective 1/1/2024, employers should begin using the new version of the new hire form, which has the updated paid sick leave language (California Notice to Employees 2810.5 version 11/2023)

Employers should review the provisions of the bill, read the above law firm articles to understand the changes further, and plan for the change by reviewing policies, existing sick and/or PTO plans, possible HRIS system changes, new hire documentation, and communication to employees when the change is made.

Employers should have everything in place by no later than December to account for any pay periods that will include January 1, 2024.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's California PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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