California Workers Can Now Take 5 Days A Year Off When Sick

california sick leave

The California Labor Commissioner's Office (LCO) has announced some changes to California's paid sick leave policy that will please workers.

According to the decision, as of January 1, 2024, the period during which employees can take paid sick leave has been increased from 24 hours (3 days) to 40 hours (5 days) per year. The minimum period of employment in the company to be eligible for paid sick leave has also been reduced from 120 days to 90 days.

Who can take paid sick leave?

People who meet the following conditions will be entitled to sick leave;

  • Those who have worked with the same employer for at least 30 days in the same year
  • Those who have worked for the employer for at least 90 days in total

All full-time, part-time and temporary employees will be eligible for this right.

Such leave can also be taken for treatment, diagnosis or preventive care of the employee or a family member; no letter from the doctor is required.

Under the new scheme, California workers will be able to take sick leave for a total of 40 hours or 5 working days during the year. Whichever of these periods is longer will be taken as the basis. For example, someone who works 10 hours a day will be able to take paid leave for 5 days, i.e. 50 hours. Someone who works 8 hours a day will be able to take 40 hours of leave.

Employers must offer this right to employees

According to the law, employers cannot exclude, dismiss or threaten to dismiss employees who want to use their paid sick leave rights, nor can employees be demoted for this reason.

It will be possible to transfer unused leave days to the following year. In addition, the leave days previously earned by employees who leave and return from their workplace within 1 year will also be defined to the employee. In other words, the sick leave rights that employees have earned at work will also be valid after leaving and returning to work.

This leave can also be used in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or harassment.


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