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California Considering Expanding Paid Sick Leave to Seven Paid Days
Apr 21, 2023

California Considering Expanding Paid Sick Leave to Seven Paid Days

Topics: Employee Leave, Wage & Hour Issues

Earlier this week, the California Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee approved SB 616. This bill now moves on for consideration by the Senate appropriations committee. SB 616, sponsored by California State Senator Lena Gonzalez from Los Angeles County, if enacted in its current form, would more than double mandatory paid sick leave available for California employees, starting next year.  

Increased Paid Sick Leave in California

Currently, California employees are entitled to three days or twenty-four hours of paid sick leave that must be available to the employee to use by the completion of the employee’s 120th calendar day of employment. SB 616 would substantially increase the amount of paid sick leave available annually to California employees to seven (7) days or fifty-six (56) hours.  

More specifically, if enacted in its current form, SB 616 would modify the required paid sick leave accrual method to require that California employees have no less than 56 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 280th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, beginning January 1, 2024.  

Higher Paid Sick Leave Accrual Cap

Under existing law, a California employer generally has no obligation to allow an employee’s total accrual of paid sick leave to exceed 48 hours or 6 days. In other words, the paid sick leave bank can be capped at 48 hours. SB 616 would more than double the minimum accrual cap for paid sick leave in California from 48 hours or 6 days, to 112 hours or 14 days.

Conclusion

This is one of many bills working its way through the California Legislature that the California Chamber of Commerce has labeled as job-killer bills. While CDF cannot predict which bills will actually pass through the legislature and be signed by Governor Newsom, there is a strong push to increase sick leave benefits, and we suspect that SB 616 is one of the bills that is likely to pass. California employers should pay close attention to this progress of SB 616 over the next few months.  

About CDF

For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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