Recently, California Senate Bill 616 was introduced to increase the number of paid sick days and carryover hours in California. 

The interest in paid leave legislation is partly a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic and its dramatic impact on the workplace and remote work.  Employers often provide paid sick days to boost retention and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

What are the current rules?

Under current state law, employers must provide paid sick days if the employee works in California for the same employer for 30 or more days within a year.  The leave is to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked and to be available for use beginning on the 90th day of employment.  Existing law authorizes an employer to use a different accrual method as long as the employee has no less than 24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 120th calendar day of employment.

The new bill would amend paid sick leave to provide not less than 56 hours of accrued sick leave or seven days of paid sick leave by the 280th calendar day of employment.

Under existing law, an employer can cap the employee’s total accrual of paid sick leave to 48 hours or six days per year.  The proposal would increase that threshold to 112 hours or 14 days.  In addition, regarding the carryover of paid sick leave, workers would be permitted to roll over 56 hours or seven sick days to the following year of unused sick time.

No accrual or carryover is required if workers receive their total leave at the beginning of each calendar year or 12-month period.  In addition, employers do not have to compensate employees for their accrued, unused sick days upon termination, resignation, or retirement.

If passed, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.  This bill is likely to pass with the current California legislature and governor.

What to do next?

Employers with workers in California should review their current leave and communication policies with their employees.  The bill requires employers to give written notice about the amount of paid sick leave available.  In addition, if the need for paid sick leave is foreseeable, employees must provide the employer notice in advance or as soon as possible.

HR professionals should consider local ordinances that may differ from state law.  Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Oakland have sick leave ordinances that exceed the requirements under current state law.  These details are particularly important with remote workers.

How can we help?

Time Equipment Company offers Leave Management with its Time and Attendance software.  Many administrative tasks can be easily automated, such as tracking hours worked, calculating sick leave pay rules, and tallying and reporting accrual and available balances.  Both employers and employees can see their balances for the various leave benefits and request time off directly from their supervisor.  Approve requests are tracked on the schedule, time card, and payroll, all with the click of one button.  In addition, these balances can be migrated to your payroll provider to maintain accurate records and compliance.

For more information about Leave Management, contact Time Equipment Company at or 800-997-8463.

*This information simplifies complex Acts as it is understood by Time Equipment Company. It is not to be taken as legal advice. The regulations for this program are changing. For further information contact your state or local Department of Labor.