As of January 1st, 2024, California will be ushering in a new era of employee rights and benefits. Thanks to Senate Bill 616, a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in 2023, significant changes are coming to the state’s paid sick leave (PSL) policies. These changes represent a huge win for employees across California, as they mark a significant increase in PSL entitlements, accrual caps, and front-loading options. Continue reading to learn more about this law and what it means for California business owners and employees.
Increased PSL Entitlement
The most notable change that employees will enjoy under the revised law is an increase in PSL entitlement. Previously, employees were entitled to 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year. With the new law taking effect, this entitlement will jump to a more substantial 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave per year. This adjustment ensures that employees have more time to take care of their health and well-being without worrying about lost income.
Accrual Cap And Front Loading
In addition, the new law introduces changes to the accrual cap and front-loading options. In the past, employees could accrue up to 48 hours or six days of PSL per year. This cap will now be raised to 80 hours or 10 days per year. This means that employees will be more flexible in managing their paid sick leave and can accumulate more time for unforeseen health issues.
Front-loading is another exciting aspect of this law. Front-loading means employers give employees their paid sick leave hours in one lump sum at the beginning of the year. If employers choose to front-load PSL for their employees, the law mandates specific timelines for doing so. By the 120th calendar day of employment, employees must receive no less than 24 hours of PSL. By the 200th calendar day, they should have a total of 40 hours of PSL. This feature ensures that employees can access their PSL benefits early in their employment, offering peace of mind from the very beginning.
Rate Of Accrual
The rate of PSL accrual remains unchanged, with employees earning one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked. This fair system ensures that employees accrue their benefits gradually over time, aligning with their actual working hours.
Local PSL Laws Preemption
Another significant aspect of the new law is the prohibition of local PSL laws from regulating certain issues related to PSL. This means that state law will take precedence over any local regulations, creating a more uniform system across the entire state. While local laws were once a patchwork of rules and regulations, this new provision will streamline PSL policies and make it easier for employees and employers to understand their rights and obligations.
Navigating The Changing Landscape
With these significant changes in California’s paid sick leave laws, business owners might wonder how they can best navigate the evolving landscape while ensuring compliance and providing the best benefits to their employees. If you’re a business owner in California wondering this, we’re here to share the benefits of partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) like GMS. GMS’ HR experts assist with HR management, employee benefits, and navigating the intricate maze of labor law compliance. We guide business owners to streamline their operations, stay ahead of evolving regulations, and foster an empowering work environment.
Partnering with GMS amidst this complex landscape of California equips business owners to seamlessly transition into the new PSL era. This ensures not only compliance with laws and regulations but also the ability to allure and retain top-tier talent in the competitive job market. Interested in learning more? Contact our HR experts today.