In 2015, the State of California enacted a law requiring all employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.  Sick leave may be taken for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition, or for preventative care for an employee or an employee’s family member, or for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to take time off for treatment.

To be eligible for paid sick leave benefits, the employee must work a minimum of 30 days.  Employees may start using their paid sick leave on the 90th day of employment.  Employees must be provided with a minimum of 24 hours (3 days) of paid sick leave each year.  California law provides employers with two methods of providing sick leave.  Under the first method, employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  Under the second method, employers may provide its employees with a lump sum of 24 hours (3 days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of each 12 month period. 

Employers are allowed to limit the amount of paid sick leave that employees may use each year to 24 hours (30 days), and may limit the total hours accrued each year to 48 hours (6 days).  The year begins on the employee’s hire date.  Unused sick leave does not need to be paid out at the time of an employee’s termination.

Some cities within the State of California have their own sick leave policies that are even more employee-friendly.  For example, any employee who works two hours or more in a week inside the city limits of Los Angeles is covered by the City’s own sick leave ordinance.  Under the City’s ordinance, employee must be provided with at least 48 hours (6 days) of paid sick leave each year; their use may be limited to 48 hours of leave annually.  The same accrual and lump sum methods apply to the City’s sick leave ordinance.  Lastly, employers must keep track of their employees’ sick leave on their respective paystubs.