October 30, 2023

New California Bill Expands Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: What Employers and Employees Need to Know

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In a landmark move, California has recently signed a new bill that will significantly impact both employers and employees in the state. Effective January 1, 2024, the mandatory paid sick leave in California will be expanded from three days or twenty-four hours to five days or forty hours. This article will provide an overview of the new legislation, its implications, and what steps businesses should take to comply.


Key Changes in the New Bill

The new bill, set to take effect at the start of 2024, brings about the following key changes:

  • Expansion of Paid Sick Leave: The mandatory paid sick leave will be increased from the current three days or twenty-four hours to five days or forty hours.
  • Accrual Rates: The bill also addresses the rate at which employees accrue paid sick leave, offering more flexibility.
  • Carry Over: Employees will be allowed to carry over unused sick leave to the next year, up to a certain limit.

These changes are implemented by Senate Bill 616 which amends Labor Code sections 245.5, 246, and 246.5. For a detailed understanding of the bill, you can refer to the official California Legislative Information website.


Implications for Employers

Employers need to be proactive in adapting to these changes. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Update Policies: Review and update your company’s sick leave policies to align with the new regulations.
  • Employee Training: Educate your employees about the changes to ensure smooth implementation.
  • Record-Keeping: Maintain accurate records of sick leave to avoid any legal complications.


Implications for Employees

Employees stand to benefit significantly from this expansion:

  • Increased Leave: More days off means better work-life balance and health.
  • Flexibility: The new accrual rates offer greater flexibility in how you can use your sick leave.
  • Reference the Statute: If your employer has not yet updated its policies, you may point management to the statutes referenced above, particularly Labor Code section 246.


How to Prepare for the Changes

  • Review Current Policies: Both employers and employees should review their current sick leave policies to understand what changes need to be made.
  • Consult Legal Advisors: Given the complexity of employment law, consulting a legal advisor is often beneficial.
  • Stay Updated: Keep an eye on updates from official California government websites.



The expansion of mandatory paid sick leave in California is a significant step towards employee welfare. Both employers and employees need to be well-informed and prepared for these changes. Stay tuned for more updates on California employment law.


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.