Proposed California Senate Bill 616 Would More Than Double Mandatory Employee Sick Leave

At Romero Law, our California employment law attorneys keep on fingers on the pulse of all proposed legislation that may impact the state’s employees, and whether it expands or tightens their workplace rights.

Currently, California Senate Bill 616 is making its way through the legislature to expand employee entitlements for additional paid sick leave.

Here is what California employees need to know about its contents, and where it stands.

California Employees are Currently Entitled to Three Days of Paid Sick Leave: That Could Change

With certain exceptions, California employees are currently entitled to three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave.

Under current California employment laws:

  • Employers can choose to have a paid sick leave policy that provides all the hours at one time.


  • The amount of available paid sick leave an employee has can accrue, where employees earn sick leave over time and any unused sick leave can carry over into the next year of employment. Under this approach, employees must earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work.

Employers may also use a different accrual method, so long as an employee has no less than 24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 120th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, or in each 12-month period.

As to limits, an employer can limit an employee’s use of paid sick leave to 24 hours or three days during a year and can also limit or cap the overall amount of sick leave an employee may accrue to 6 days or 48 hours.

Senate Bill 616 Would More Than Double the Current Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for California Employees

Sick leave law

California Senate Bill 616 would more than double mandatory paid sick leave available for employees to seven days or 56 hours.

In addition, if approved as it is currently written, the Bill would modify the way sick paid leave must be accrued, so California employees have no less than 56 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by their 280th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, or in each 12-month period.

Additionally, SB 616 would more than double the accrual cap for paid sick leave to 14 days or 112 hours and for any unused accrued sick time, employees would be permitted to carry over 56 hours or seven days to the next year.

The Bill passed the Senate on May 31, 2023, and is moving on to the state Assembly, and then to the governor’s desk. The governor has until October 14, 2023, to sign bills into law or veto them. If enacted, the law would take effect on January 1, 2024. We will continue to update this post accordingly.

Are You Getting the Paid Sick Leave You Are Entitled to as a California Worker?

If you believe your employer is withholding mandatory paid sick leave, contact our experienced Los Angeles County employment law attorneys to discuss your legal rights and options today.

We will help you navigate the process and protect your rights from the start of your claim, so you can move forward with confidence.

Our employment law firm and bilingual staff offer services in both English and Spanish and are available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling 626-396-9900 or contacting us online.

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