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Governor Newsom Mandates Additional Paid Sick Leave for Employees.  Does Your Policy Comply? 

By Susan E. Bishop and Caitlin Capriotti

On October 4, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 616, amending the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (the Act). In the simplest terms, beginning in 2024, employers covered by the Act will be required to provide a minimum of five days of paid sick leave (or 40 hours) instead of the currently mandated three days (or 24 hours).

This amendment did not change the standard accrual method for sick leave; employers may still require employees to accrue sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Employers should be aware of the following changes to existing law which go into effect on January 1, 2024:

  • Currently, paid sick leave accrual methods must result in 24 hours of accrued paid sick leave by the 120th calendar day of employment, each calendar year, or each twelve-month period.

The Act now requires that an employee accrue at least 40 hours of paid sick leave by the 200th calendar day of employment.

  • Currently, employers may limit an employee’s use of accrued paid sick leave to a minimum of 24 hours or three days in each year of employment, calendar year, or twelve-month period.

The Act increases the minimum useable paid sick leave to 40 or five days in each year of employment, calendar year, or twelve-month period.

  • Currently, the term “full amount of leave” is defined as three days or 24 hours.

The Act now defines “full amount of leave” as five days or 40 hours.

  • Currently, employers are not required to provide additional paid sick leave if the employer has a paid time off policy that may be used for sick leave and provides at least three days or 24 hours of leave within six months of employment.

The Act now requires that an employee must be eligible to earn at least five days or 40 hours of paid time off within six months of employment under these alternative plans.

  • Currently, under an accrual method, employers must allow paid sick leave to roll over to the following calendar year, but an employer may cap the total accrual at 48 hours or six days.

The Act now increases the minimum accrual to 80 hours or ten days.

Additionally, this amendment expands procedural protections on the use of paid sick days to employees covered by valid collective bargaining agreements and amends the schedule for in-home supportive service providers (IHSS) to increase their paid sick leave accrual to five days/40 hours in each year of employment. 

With only two months remaining in the year before this law goes into effect, employers are recommended to update their paid sick leave policies in anticipation of the Act. For more information, the text of SB 616 can be found here.


If you have questions about reimbursement policies or other labor and employment matters, please contact our Labor and Employment department at 408.286.5800 or

This article is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice or a solicitation for the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Anyone with questions about this topic should consult an attorney.