California Sick Leave & New Notice to Employee Form!


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California New Paid Sick Leve
Effective January 1, 2024


As we discussed in the November 2023 issue of The Essential, Paid Sick and Safe Leave (PSSL) (Senate Bill 616) took effect January 1, 2024, so if you have not implemented it yet, here are the details with updated information:

The annual use cap of PSSL will increase from 3 days or 24 hours (whichever is greater) to 5 days or 40 hours (whichever is greater) whether frontloaded or accrued.

Frontload Method
If using the frontload method, for new hires, you may:

  • Frontload 40 hours/5 days of PSSL for use by the 120th day of employment and 16 hours/2 days of PSSL by the 200th day of employment, and again at the beginning of each subsequent year; or
  • Frontload 24 hours/3 days of PSSL by the 120th day of employment and 16 hours/2 days of PSSL by the 200th day of employment.  The employee would receive 40 hours/5 days at the beginning of each subsequent year.

The “year” is the 12-month period you use to administer sick leave, which may not be a calendar year.
State law allows employers to avoid carryover of unused PSSL, but keep in mind that local ordinances may require carryover of frontloaded leave.

Accrual Method
If your company uses the accrual method, you may continue to use the 1 hour of PSSL for every 30 hours worked. If you use an alternative accrual method, you will need to ensure that employees receive at least 24 hours of PSSL by the 120th day of employment AND at least 40 hours of PSSL by their 200th day of employment.  As with the current law, any unused accrued PSSL must be carried over to the next year up to an accrual cap of 10 days or 80 hours.

Rules That Stay the Same
As a reminder, full-time, part-time and temporary workers are eligible for PSSL if they work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year in California and complete a 90-day waiting period before taking any paid sick leave. An employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement is not covered by the law if the agreement provides paid sick days or paid time off.
The amount of PSSL available must be on an itemized paystub or separate document provided each pay day.

Check Your Local Sick Leave Laws
SB 616 preempts certain provisions of local sick leave laws.  Specifically, state law will need to be followed in these areas:

  • End of employment payout of employees’ unused sick leave
  • Employer advancement of (unaccrued) sick days to employees
  • Employer written notice requirement regarding available leave
  • Rate of pay calculations for employees’ actual sick leave taken
  • Employee notification for foreseeable and unforeseeable use of sick leave
  • Timing of payment to employees for paid sick leave used

Regular Rate of Pay
Many employers do not know that when you pay sick leave for non-exempt employees, it must be paid at the “regular rate of pay.”  The regular rate of pay is the same rate of pay used to calculate overtime wages. The California Department of Industrial Relations states that: The regular rate of pay includes a number of different kinds of remuneration, such as hourly earnings, salary, piecework earnings, and commissions. More information on what forms of pay must be included can be found here:
DIR Overtime Rules

PSSL can be calculated in one of two ways:

  • In the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the employee uses paid sick time, whether or not the employee actually works overtime in that workweek; or
  • By dividing the employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total hours worked in the full pay periods of the prior 90 days of employment.




The Labor Commissioner has released a new Notice to Employee (aka Wage Theft Notice) which incorporates the new sick leave changes.  In addition, you will notice a new change added to the form.  Employers will need to include information on the form of any federal or state emergency or disaster declaration issued within 30 days before hire that applies to the county(ies) where the employee will work and that may impact the employee’s health and safety at work.

The new form can be obtained here:  Notice to Employee Form





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