Under California’s Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act (HWHFA), all employees (full-time, part-time and temporary) working in California for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year after beginning employment are eligible for paid sick leave. However, an employee must complete a 90-day employment period before availing of this PSL.
As per the paid sick leave law in California, every employer must provide at least 24-hours to 3 days off to their employees each year as PSL. Employees can avail of these leaves to recover from physical or mental illness/injury, to seek medical treatment or diagnosis, or to look after a family member who is sick.
Managing labor compliance at large organizations in California may lead to legal issues. Learn how organizations are leveraging Replicon’s solutions with built-in compliance modules to solve California’s labor compliance needs.
Basic Requirements to Avail California’s Paid Sick Leaves in 2023:
- Employees accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked
- Employees who are exempt from overtime requirements accrue paid sick leave based on a 40-hour workweek
- New employees can use accrued paid sick leave beginning on their 90th day of employment
- Employees can determine how much paid sick leave they need to use, but employers can set reasonable minimum increments (up to 2 hours) for using this leave
- Employers are not required to allow employees to accrue more than 48 hours or six days of total paid sick leave if their right to accrue and use this leave is not unlawfully limited.
To know more about California paid sick leave law 2023, click here!
What Employers Need to Know about California Sick Leave Laws?
Following is a checklist of what employers need to be compliant with new and existing sick leave requirements:
- Provide at least 3 working days of paid sick leave to all the eligible employees in a calendar year
- Document sick leave policies and share them with employees at the time of hire
- Calculate, track and report every employee’s paid sick leave balance regularly. Replicon’s payroll timesheet software easily does the job of automatically calculating and reporting employee’s sick leave balance to their managers or supervisors regularly
- Keep employees informed on how many sick leaves are available to them, either through email or by looking at Replicon’s payroll software
- Maintain a record of leaves earned and used for a period of 3 years
If your employer refuses to grant you the PSL, you can file a wage claim with the Labor commission office.
Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Covid-19 (Revised for 2023)
In addition to PSL, SPSL was introduced for employees having symptoms of Covid-19. It came into effect in 2021 but expired on December 31, 2022. However, as per the new guidelines, employees using SPSL as of December 31 can continue to take the leave even if the entitlement is extended past December 31, 2023. For instance, if an employee has covid-19 symptoms and is recommended to isolate on December 29, 2022, in that case, he can still continue to utilize the SPSL if the isolation is extended into January 2023.
In addition, employees who were not paid SPSL from their employers when they were not able to work due to covid-19 can request payment from their employer, from January 1, 2023 onwards.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning California Paid Sick Leave Laws:
1. How do I qualify for paid sick leave?
To qualify for the paid sick leave, an employee must meet the following requirements:
- Work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year in California
- Must complete a 90-day employment period, similar to probationary period before taking any sick leaves
2. Can I apply for sick leave if I work for less than 30 days in California within a year?
If you work for less than 30 days for the same employer in California within a year, then you are not entitled to apply for paid sick leave under this new law.
3. Can I apply for sick leave if I work for more than 30 days but less than 90 days for the same employer within a year?
If you work for less than 90 days for an employer, then you are not entitled to paid sick leave as the 90-day calendar period works like a probationary period.
4. Can all the employees who work in California apply for paid sick leave under the new law?
All employees working in California under the same employer for at least 30 days, including part-time, temporary, and per diem employees are covered under this new law with some specific exceptions. Employees exempted from this paid sick leave law are:
- Employees covered under collective bargaining agreements with specified provisions
- Retired employees working for governmental entities
- Individuals employed by an air carrier as a cabin crew member or flight deck, if they receive compensated time off at least equivalent to the new law are exempted for applying for paid sick leave
5. How is the calendar year measured?
The measurement of the calendar year will be mostly tracked by the employee’s anniversary date.
6. Can my employer provide advance paid sick leave to me prior to my accrual of sufficient paid leave or prior to meeting the 90-day employment requirement?
Yes, under mutual agreement, the employer can provide advance paid sick leave to an employee before it is accrued, but there is no requirement for any employer to do so under this new law.
7. Under the accrual method, is it possible for me to carry over unused sick leave from one year to the other?
Yes, you can, but the employer may limit or cap the overall leave an employee can accrue between 6 days to 48 hours.
8. Do I have to notify my employer before taking my sick leave?
It depends on certain scenarios. For example: if the sick leave is planned, as may be the case with scheduled doctor’s appointments, then the employee must notify the employer in advance. If the need is unforeseeable, then the employee can inform the employer as soon as practical, as may occur in the case of a medical emergency or unanticipated illness.
9. Does my employer have to document the reason I use for applying paid sick leave?
No, the law states that an employer is not obligated to inquire or record the reasons for which an employee uses paid sick leave or paid time off
10. How does the new law fit in local sick leave ordinances?
The employer must comply with both local and California laws if employees are subject to local sick leave ordinances. In such cases, the employer must provide the provision or benefit that is most generous to the employee.
To know more about other special leave policies under California’s labor laws, visit this page.