On October 4, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 616 into legislation, which amends the Wholesome Workplaces, Wholesome Households Act of 2014 by growing the variety of paid sick days (or hours) staff are entitled to every yr. The legislation, which is able to take impact on January 1, 2024, will enhance paid sick go away for workers from three days (or 24 hours) to 5 days (or 40 hours), whichever is bigger, inside a 12-month interval. The legislation will particularly amend Labor Code sections 245.5, 246, and 246.5.
Technique of Offering Sick Go away – Accrual vs. Lump Sum
Employers can nonetheless select to offer the requisite paid sick go away both on an accrual foundation or as a lump sum.
Employers might also nonetheless elect to have staff accrue 1 hour of sick go away for each 30 hours labored. Beneath present legislation, employers who make the most of an alternate accrual methodology should guarantee an worker will accrue a minimum of three days (or 24 hours) of sick go away by the one hundred and twentieth calendar day of employment or every calendar yr, or in every 12-month interval. SB 616 now requires employers who make the most of an alternate accrual methodology to additionally guarantee an worker will accrue a minimum of 5 days (or 40 hours) of accrued sick go away by the 2 hundredth calendar day of employment or every calendar yr, or in every 12-month interval.
Employers who select the lump sum methodology is not going to see a lot change on this regard, apart from the quantity of the lump sum that’s required.
Cap and Carryover
For employers who use the accrual methodology, the brand new legislation will increase the accrual and carryover cap to 10 days or 80 hours.
As with the prior legislation, employers who use the lump sum methodology and supply the 5 days (or 40 hours) firstly of every yr don’t want to permit for any carryover and don’t want to offer any accrual.
Use of Sick Go away
Equally, the brand new legislation will even enhance the quantity of sick go away an worker is ready to use in every year of employment, calendar yr, or 12-month interval, from three days (or 24 hours) to 5 days (or 40 hours).
Preemption of Sure Native Ordinances
SB 616 will even add Part 245.5(r) to the Labor Code, offering that sure subdivisions of the revised Part 245.5 will preempt any native ordinance on the contrary. This could create a minimum of some uniformity all through the state because it pertains to paid sick go away. Particularly, Part 245.5(r) preempts any native ordinance opposite to the next state provisions:
- employers should not required to pay out an worker for accrued however unused paid sick days on the finish of employment, though employers should reinstate unused paid sick days if an worker is rehired inside one yr;
- an employer might lend paid sick days to an worker upfront of accrual on the employer’s discretion with correct documentation;
- an employer should present staff with written discover that lists the quantity of paid sick go away obtainable both on the wage assertion or in a separate writing supplied on the pay date;
- an employer should calculate the speed of pay for paid sick go away hours for non-exempt and exempt staff as set forth in Part 245.5(l);
- when the necessity for paid sick go away is foreseeable, the worker should present affordable advance discover and when the necessity is unforeseeable, the worker should present discover as quickly as practicable; and
- an employer should pay an worker their paid sick go away hours no later than the payday for the following common payroll interval after the sick go away was taken.
Thus, any native ordinance that doesn’t adjust to any of the six points listed above will likely be preempted.
Staff Lined by Collective Bargaining Agreements
The present paid sick go away legislation doesn’t apply to staff lined by collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) that meet sure necessities. Nevertheless, SB 616 will amend present legislation to offer sure protections to staff topic to CBAs. Particularly, the modification grants CBA staff the protections set forth in Labor Code 246.5. Employers should now enable CBA staff who in any other case are exempt from the paid sick go away legislation to make use of paid sick go away for the prognosis, care, or therapy of an present well being situation of, or preventive take care of, an worker or member of the family, and, for an worker who’s a sufferer of home violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Employers additionally might not require a CBA worker who takes paid sick go away for a lined cause to seek for or discover a substitute for the times when the worker is off work.
Lastly, employers might not deny a CBA worker the proper to make use of sick go away, nor can they retaliate or discriminate in opposition to CBA staff who use paid sick go away. Relatedly, staff are entitled to a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if an employer takes antagonistic motion, similar to denying the use accrued sick go away, or discharging or demoting the worker, inside 30 days of the worker’s protected exercise (similar to submitting a grievance with the labor division or cooperating with an investigation).
Updates to Insurance policies and Handbooks
Since SB 616 makes main adjustments to present paid sick go away legal guidelines, employers are inspired to overview their related insurance policies and worker handbooks with counsel to make sure they’re compliant with the brand new legislation. Relatedly, employers ought to be sure that, as of January 1, 2024, the Discover to Worker that’s supplied upon rent (as required by Labor Code part 2810.5) displays the correct quantity of paid sick go away, as does the worker wage assertion (or the separate writing supplied with the wage assertion).