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Rand L. Stephens & Richard N. Koss Motto
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New Sick Leave Laws for 2024

Pretty, charming, attractive woman tired from every day routine, holding fingers on nose between eyes, took off glasses, looking exhausted, sitting on armchair at desktop in work station

The state of California has always been at the forefront of employee rights, consistently making strides to ensure healthier, more balanced work environments. A significant update for 2024 has been made to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, a cornerstone of California’s sick leave employment laws. These amendments mark a pivotal shift in how sick leave is administered, providing enhanced protections and benefits to employees across the state. Read on for a discussion of the changes coming your way in 2024, and contact San Francisco employment law attorney Richard Koss if you are an employer or employee needing help with sick leave policies or other employment law matters in the Bay Area.

Increased Minimum Accrual

One of the central revisions in the 2024 amendments is the increase in the minimum accrual rate for paid sick leave. Previously, employees accrued up to 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave each year. These hours could be frontloaded (granted at the start of the year), accrued in the first 120 days of employment, or at a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

The updated law mandates a higher accrual rate, enabling employees to accumulate sick leave more rapidly. Effective January 1, the accrual limit increases to 40 hours or five days each year, up from 24 hours/three days. If the sick leave is accrued during the year rather than frontloaded, 40 hours must accrue by the 200th day of employment in each year or 12-month period.

This change significantly benefits part-time and full-time employees, ensuring they have adequate sick leave when needed.

Carry-Over Provisions

The carry-over provisions of unused sick leave have also been revised. The previous law allowed for a certain amount of unused sick leave to be carried over to the next year. The new amendments have modified these provisions, offering greater flexibility and ensuring employees do not lose their accrued sick leave benefits unnecessarily. The carryover of accrued but unused sick leave increases from 24 hours or three days to 40 hours or five days. No carryover is required if the full amount of leave (40 hours/5 days) is received at the beginning of the year rather than accrued during the year.

Implications for Employers and Employees

Employer Compliance

For employers, these changes necessitate a thorough review of existing policies and systems to ensure compliance. Employers must update their sick leave policies, payroll systems, and employee handbooks to reflect the new regulations. Failure to comply can result in significant penalties and legal repercussions.

Employee Awareness

Employees should familiarize themselves with the new provisions to fully understand their rights and benefits under the amended law. Awareness of these changes empowers employees to effectively manage their health needs and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Contact Bay Area Employment Lawyer Richard Koss for Help With Sick Leave Policies in California

The amendments to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act in 2024 represent a progressive step toward enhancing employee well-being in California. These changes underscore the state’s commitment to supporting workers’ health and offer a model for other states to consider. Both employers and employees should take proactive steps to understand and adapt to these new regulations, ensuring a more equitable and healthy working environment for all.

If you are a San Francisco employee or employer in need of advice or representation concerning sick leave, paid time off, or other California labor law issues, contact the Bay Area employment law attorney Richard Koss at 650-722-7046 on the San Francisco Peninsula, or 925-757-1700 in the East Bay.

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