It’s no secret that California employers and human resources professionals must be constantly vigilant of the ever-changing landscape of employment laws implemented each year by our federal and state legislatures as well as local government authorities. This year is no different. Although numerous bills have been passed during this legislative session (and there will certainly be more to come), the most significant change in the law for employers in 2024 by far is the implementation of increased amounts of paid sick leave under S.B. 616. Below is a quick question-and-answer series to summarize the key points of this new law.
S.B. 616 goes into effect on January 1, 2024.
The paid sick leave law applies to virtually all employees regardless of status (full-time, part-time, per diem, and temporary or agency employees). It also applies to non-exempt and exempt employees, and to businesses of any size (with the exception of five very limited statutory exceptions laid out in Labor Code Section 245.5(a); click here).
Here are four key changes to keep in mind:
There are steep penalties for the failure to comply and for willful violations of S.B. 616. To ensure compliance, employers should work with their employment law counsel to create updated paid sick leave policies before year-end. If you include sick leave language in your offer letters, employment agreements or other similar documents, you will need to revise those as well.
Remember that annual updates to your employee handbooks are critical to capture each year's new legislation as well as the cases and administrative opinions issued in the prior year. Employers should work with their employment counsel to prepare overall policy updates to be ready for 2024.
We expect that the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will issue updated Paid Sick Leave FAQs and a revised notice in the near future. LightGabler will continue to provide updates as needed and employers are encouraged to watch for further information on this important topic.
For questions regarding S.B. 616, paid sick leave or PTO, or assistance with other employment law issues, contact the attorneys at LightGabler.