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HR-Alert: California Amends Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

By December 13, 2023December 20th, 2023No Comments

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) No.616 which amends the state’s paid sick and safe leave law, referred to as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA). The recent amendments increase the amount of paid leave an employee may be eligible for from three (3) days or 24 hours to five (5) days or 40 hours per year beginning January 1, 2024. The majority of the other laws’ requirements remain unaffected.

Summary of Changes

  • Employers may continue providing sick leave at one (1) hour for every 30 hours worked, however, if utilizing a different accrual rate, employees must accrue three (3) days or 24 hours of sick leave by their 120th day of employment and have no less than a total of five (5) days or 40 hours of sick leave by their 200th day of employment
  • Employers may frontload no less than five (5) days or 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each calendar year or 12-month period; if an employer frontloads the time, no carryover or accrual of sick leave is required
  • The annual usage cap will increase to five (5) days or 40 hours
  • Employers may cap paid leave accruals at 10 days or 80 hours per year, an increase from the current cap of six (6) days or 48 hours
  • Currently, the HWHFA does not apply to employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), provided the agreement meets certain conditions; this exemption still applies, however, SB 616 extends some provisions to CBA covered employees

Employer Next Steps
We have summarized key steps employers should take.

  • California employers should review their existing paid time off policies to ensure compliance with these amendments prior to January 1, 2024
  • California employers operating in cities or counties with more generous paid sick leave requirements must ensure continued compliance with said requirements and adjust policies according to the most generous benefit to the employee
  • Employers should review any CBAs regarding language that violates these amendments

If you have any questions regarding this HR-Alert, please email us.


This content is provided with the understanding that Hilb Group is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice.