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Guide to California Employee Leave Laws

Employers in California have flexibility in setting leave policies but must adhere to state laws regarding employee leave entitlements. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (HWHFA) mandates paid sick leave for eligible employees. This guide outlines eligibility, accrual, usage, payment, notice requirements, and employer obligations under the law. Click here for full guide.

  • Paid Sick Leave Entitlement:

  • Employers must provide eligible employees with a minimum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per year under the HWHFA.

  • Eligibility criteria include working in California for 30 or more days within a year for the same employer, with some exceptions.

  • Accrual and Carryover:

  • Employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, with options for alternative accrual methods.

  • Accrued leave may be carried over to the next year, capped at 80 hours, or provided up-front.

  • Notice Requirements:

  • Employers must provide written notice of available paid sick leave on wage statements and display a workplace poster.

  • Employees must provide advance notice of foreseeable leave or as soon as practicable for unforeseeable leave.

  • Usage and Protections:

  • Paid sick leave can be used for preventive care, health conditions, and specified purposes related to domestic violence or stalking.

  • Employers must compensate sick days at the same wage rate as regular work hours and may face penalties for violations, including reinstatement, back pay, and administrative fines.

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