7 Important Details About Sick Leave

Leaves of absence June 7th, 2024
Sick leave-woman holding facial tissue to her nose Sick leave-woman holding facial tissue to her nose

Sick leave is essential to your health and well-being. It can make all the difference when it comes to taking care of your family’s financial obligations when you’re unable to work.

And, fortunately California law has you covered.

Going into effect on January 1, 2024, California Senate Bill (SB) 616 amends California Labor Code sections 245.5, 246, and 246.5 to expand paid sick leave for almost all California workers and employers. 

7 Essential Facts about Sick Leave You Need to Know

1. There Is A Legal Minimal Amount You Are Entitled To 

You are entitled to take and receive pay for at least 40 hours of sick leave, or about 5 days of work, each year. Prior to January 1, 2024, your employer could limit your leave time to just 24 hours or three days each year. Employers may require that employees work for 90 days before they are entitled to paid sick leave.

2. The Law Covers Those Who Don’t Work The Typical 40 Hour/5 Day Workweek

The law was written to benefit everyone, even those who do not work a total of 40 hours during a normal 5-day work week.

If you normally work 10-hour days, for example, you’ll be entitled to 50 hours of paid sick leave annually. If you work only 6 hours a day and take 5 days of sick leave for a total of 30 hours, you’ll be entitled to another 10 hours of paid time.

3. Local Ordinances May Provide More Generous Benefits In Some Cases

If a local ordinance requires higher pay than that required by California state law, the employer must pay whichever is more generous.

4. California Law Does Not Cover it For Some Workers

Some workers are exempt from the paid sick leave regulated by California law. 

These workers include:

  • Those who work as flight deck or cabin crew members if their air carrier provides paid time off that is equal to or better than the paid sick leave law
  • Retired annuitants, who are retired people who are rehired by the same employer, who work for governmental entities
  • Railroad employees
  • Workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with provisions that cover the leave

5. Employers Can Cap It

Employers can put a limit on paid sick leave to 80 hours, or 10 days of paid sick leave.

6. What You May Use Your Paid Sick Leave For Is Specific

Workers may use their paid leave for:

  • Preventive care for themselves or a family member
  • The diagnosis, treatment, or care of a health condition that they or a family member are experiencing
  • Specific purposes if the worker is a victim of sexual assault, stalking, or violence

7. An Employer Cannot Deny The Use Of A Sick Day Or Punish The Worker For Taking One

If a worker has sick days available, the employer must let them take it – this includes paid sick leave for partial days. What’s more, the employer cannot discipline the worker for taking paid time off if they have accrued sick days available.

Were You Denied the Paid Sick Leave You Needed and Deserve? Contact Your California Employment Attorneys At D.Law!

Like most workers in California, you have the right to paid sick leave. If your boss refuses to give you paid sick leave for the time you have accrued and the leave is for a legitimate reason, contact or call D.Law. Our employment law attorney can help you exercise your rights as a worker in the Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, and other California cities.

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