What’s Old is New Again – Quick Paid Sick Leave Review


By Jennifer Jacobus, PHRca, SDEA CEO

SDEA has been receiving quite a few inquiries regarding California’s Revised Paid sick leave which required employers to increase the paid sick leave they offered from three days/24 hours to five days/40 hours as of January 1, 2024.  While we would expect nothing less, the legislators have made this sound more confusing than it needs to be.  However, the only thing that changed as we flipped the calendar over from 2023 to 2024, was the number of days/hours that employers are required to give.

Questions We Have Received:

“So, part-time employees need to get paid sick leave now”?

Employers have always been required to provide paid sick leave to part-time employees.  All employees are entitled to paid sick leave.  Full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, commission-only, exempt/non-exempt, etc., etc.

“So, now I have to provide either 40 hours OR five days”?

Again, this has always been the case.  For example, for an employee that works an alternative workweek schedule of 4-10/hour days, they would receive 10 hours of paid sick leave for a missed day of work.  In this case, five days is more beneficial than 40 hours to the employee, therefore they would end up getting 50 hours of paid sick leave.

Alternatively, if an employee works only 6 hours a day and takes five days of paid sick leave, for a total of 30 hours, the employee will still have 10 hours remaining.

“Do I have to have an accrual method that allows 24 hours by the 120th day of employment”?

In general terms (and subject to some exceptions), employees under an accrual plan must earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for each 30 hours of work (the 1:30 schedule).  Although employers may adopt or keep other types of accrual schedules, the schedule must result in an employee having at least 24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 120th calendar day of employment and 40 hours by the 200th calendar day of employment.

Although employees may accrue more than five days of paid sick leave under the one hour for every 30 hours worked accrual method (or under an alternative accrual standard), the law allows employers to limit an employee’s use of paid sick leave to 40 hours or five days during a year.  The law also allows an employer to limit an employee’s total accrued paid sick leave to no more than 80 hours or ten days. Before January 1, 2024, an employer could limit an employee’s use to 24 hours or three days during a year and an employee’s accrual to no more than 48 hours or six days.

Remember that if you have a PTO policy, and that policy meets the minimum standards required by the state of California. You do not need to have a separate stand-alone sick leave policy.

SDEA understands that each employer has unique circumstances.  That is why SDEA considered ourselves as part of your team; we are HeRe with you!  Give us a call if you have any questions at 858-505-0024.

Contact us: 858.505.0024