California Workers to Enjoy Extended Paid Sick Leave in 2024

California Workers to Enjoy Extended Paid Sick Leave in 2024
Photo by Jeswin Thomas / Unsplash


As of January 1, 2024, California is poised for a groundbreaking transformation in its employment landscape, ushering in enhanced entitlements to paid sick leave (PSL). This comprehensive update, unveiled by The Arias Journal, delves into various facets of PSL, with a focused commitment to augmenting the overall well-being of the state's workforce.

Section 1: Unprecedented Expansion of Annual Paid Sick Leave

In a groundbreaking move, the annual cap on PSL usage takes a significant leap from the existing 24 hours or three days to a more generous 40 hours or five days. This noteworthy development, mandated by Senate Bill 616 (S.B. 616) in 2023, is a testament to California's recognition of the diverse needs of its employees, providing a robust support system for health-related absences.

Section 2: Advancements in Accrual Cap and Front Loading

Effective January 1, 2024, California employees will witness a substantial increase in the accrual cap for PSL, elevating it to 80 hours or 10 days from the current 48 hours or six days.

Additionally, employees can now carry over up to 80 hours of unused PSL from one year to the next, a significant upgrade from the previous 48 hours. This evolution aims to better align with the varying health needs of individuals.

The accrual rate, a pivotal factor in PSL policies, remains consistent at one hour for every 30 hours worked. For employers opting to front load PSL, specific guidelines stipulate that employees must receive a minimum of 24 hours by their 120th calendar day of employment and 40 hours by the 200th calendar day, ensuring early access to a substantial amount of PSL.

Section 3: Prohibition of Local PSL Laws

Commencing January 1, 2024, a prohibition is set in place, preventing local PSL laws from regulating specific aspects of PSL. This strategic shift in legislative approach consolidates PSL regulations at the state level, streamlining compliance, providing clarity for employers, and fostering uniformity across California.

In-Depth Analysis:

The Arias Journal's in-depth analysis recognizes that the expanded PSL entitlements extend beyond addressing immediate workforce needs. These enhancements underscore a broader commitment to acknowledging the paramount importance of employee well-being in the contemporary workplace landscape. As California emerges as a trailblazer in prioritizing employee health, these reforms seek to establish fair and equitable leave policies.

For a comprehensive understanding of the intricate state and local payroll regulations, The Arias Journal recommends exploring PayrollOrg's PayState Update eNewsletter. Lia Coniglio, Esq., a distinguished professional, skillfully manages PayState Update and serves as the Senior Manager of State Payroll Information Resources for PayrollOrg.


The forthcoming changes in California's PSL regulations signify a progressive stride toward cultivating a healthier and more supportive work environment.

With expanded annual entitlements, adjusted accrual caps, and centralized PSL regulations at the state level, California is positioned to lead the charge in championing employee rights and well-being.

As this transformative shift in employment laws approaches, both employers and employees are encouraged to stay informed and adapt for a more harmonious and equitable workplace.

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