On October 4, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Invoice (SB) No. 616 into legislation, which expands California’s necessary paid sick depart from three days (or twenty-four hours) to 5 days (or forty hours). The elevated paid sick depart necessities take impact on January 1, 2024.
In 2014, California enacted the Wholesome Workplaces, Wholesome Households Act of 2014 (“HWHFA”), offering California workers with paid sick depart. The HWHFA turned efficient on July 1, 2015, and has been amended barely all through the years.
Below the present legislation, eligible workers accrue paid sick days on the price of 1 hour per each 30 hours labored, starting on the graduation of employment. The HWHFA applies to full-time, part-time, and momentary employees who work for a similar employer for not less than 30 days inside a 12 months in California and full a 90-day employment interval earlier than taking any paid sick depart. Upon the oral or written request of an worker, an employer should present paid sick days for the next functions:
- Prognosis, care or therapy of an current well being situation of, or preventive take care of, an worker or an worker’s member of the family; and
- For an worker who’s a sufferer of home violence, sexual assault or stalking.
The legislation defines “member of the family” to incorporate the next people: little one, (which implies a organic, adopted or foster little one, stepchild, authorized ward or a baby to whom the worker stands in loco parentis no matter age or dependency standing); a organic, adoptive or foster mother or father, stepparent or authorized guardian of an worker or the worker’s partner or registered home companion or an individual who stood in loco parentis when the worker was a minor little one; a partner; a registered home companion; a grandparent; a grandchild; a sibling; and a delegated particular person (which implies an individual recognized by the worker on the time the worker requests paid sick days). An employer could restrict an worker to 1 designated particular person per 12-month interval for paid sick days.
Though these fundamentals stay the identical underneath SB 616, the brand new legislation amends numerous provisions of HWHFA, requiring employers to revise their California paid sick depart insurance policies with respect to accrual, frontloading, carryover and use caps – amongst different areas – to make sure compliance.
Accrual and Carryover: Below California legislation, accrued paid sick days should carry over to the next 12 months and use-it-or-lose-it insurance policies are prohibited. Nevertheless, California employers could set a threshold accrual cap, which means that when an worker accumulates an quantity of depart that equals the “cap” quantity, they cease accruing, however as soon as they use depart and their banked time falls under the cap, they instantly restart accruing depart. The accrual cap additionally operates as a cap on the quantity of unused depart workers can carry over from one 12 months to the following.
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, an worker’s banked, accrued paid depart could also be capped at 48 hours or 6 days – whichever is bigger.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: SB 616 will increase the cap to 80 hours or 10 days – whichever is bigger.
Different Accrual Charges: As a substitute of utilizing the usual accrual price of 1 hour for each 30 hours labored, employers could use a special accrual methodology, so long as the strategy meets sure necessities.
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, as a substitute of utilizing the usual accrual price, the HWHFA permits employers to make use of a special accrual price so long as workers accrue depart regularly leading to them having a minimum of 24 hours of accrued depart by the completion of their 120th day of employment and having that very same quantity by the completion of the 120th day in every subsequent 12 months.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: SB 616 amends this accrual exception to require that, as well as, workers have accrued a minimum of 40 hours (or 5 days) of depart by the 200th day of employment and that very same quantity by the 200th day in every subsequent 12 months.
Frontloading: As a substitute of accrual and carryover, the HWHFA permits employers to frontload a certain quantity of paid depart every year.
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, the legislation requires employers that frontload to supply 24 hours or 3 days – whichever is bigger.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: SB 616 will increase the frontload requirement to 40 hours or 5 days – whichever is bigger.
NOTE: Though state legislation permits employers to frontload depart yearly to keep away from carryover, that might not be permitted underneath comparable native ordinances all through California, as some native legal guidelines require employers to hold over frontloaded depart.
Timing of the Frontload Distribution: Employers that frontload are allowed to impose a lengthier ready interval for brand spanking new hires than what the HWHFA in any other case permits when accrual is used (i.e., an 89-day ready interval).
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, employers are allowed to supply a minimum of 24 hours or 3 days of paid depart for the worker to make use of by the point they full their 120th day of employment.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: Below SB 616, along with offering the frontloaded 24 hours or 3 days of paid depart by the 120th day, employers should additionally make sure that the worker has a minimum of a complete of 40 hours or 5 days of paid depart (between the preliminary 120 day frontloading and the following 200 day frontloading) for the worker to make use of by the point they full their 200th day of employment. Accordingly, this new provision primarily permits employers to supply the frontloaded quantity in a piecemeal style reasonably than present your entire lump sum at one time.
Use Caps: Though employers should permit accrued and frontloaded paid sick depart to hold over from 12 months to 12 months, an employer could restrict an worker’s use of paid sick days in every year of employment, calendar 12 months or 12-month interval.
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, the HWHFA permits employers to restrict workers’ paid depart use per 12 months to 24 hours or 3 days, whichever is bigger.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: SB 616 will increase the permitted annual use cap to 40 hours or 5 days – whichever is bigger.
Coated Employers and Workers:
- Present legislation underneath HWHFA: Presently, the HWHFA doesn’t apply to workers coated by a legitimate union collective bargaining settlement if that settlement meets sure necessities, equivalent to offering paid depart and requiring binding arbitration.
- Legislation underneath SB No. 616, efficient January 1, 2024: SB 616’s amendments lengthen among the HWHFA’s protections, together with the nonretaliation and procedural protections, to workers coated by collective bargaining agreements.
Preemption of Contradicting Native Legal guidelines: There are presently eight native ordinances addressing paid sick depart in California. SB 616 offers that sure provisions “shall preempt any native ordinance on the contrary.” Particularly, the brand new legislation partially preempts native California paid sick depart ordinances which have totally different necessities on the next subjects: depart advances; stability notification necessities; worker discover necessities for unforeseeable and foreseeable depart; price of pay for sick depart; timing of such pay; and reinstatement of depart upon rehire.
What Does SB 616 Imply for California Employers?
January 1, 2024 will likely be right here earlier than we all know it, so employers whose paid sick depart insurance policies don’t already meet (or exceed) SB 616’s necessities should assessment and revise their insurance policies as quickly as attainable to make sure they’re in compliance by the efficient date. We will likely be looking out for extra steerage from the state labor division in addition to native jurisdictions that should decide whether or not and to what extent their native paid sick depart ordinances are affected by SB616’s partial preemption. Within the meantime, please be happy to achieve out to your SPB counsel must you like help with updating your insurance policies earlier than January 1, 2024.