From the Hotline: California Paid Sick Leave Law Effective July 1, 2015

Question: Can you provide information on employer requirements under the California paid sick leave law?

Answer: The California paid sick leave law is effective July 1, 2015. The following is a brief summary of current information as of July 2015.

Who is covered by the law?  

California’s paid sick leave law generally applies to all employers and employees; however, the law does not apply to individuals who provide in-home supportive services (as defined by the state Welfare and Institutions Code), certain air carrier employees such as flight deck or cabin crew members subject to the federal Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. § 181 et seq.), or employees covered by a valid collective-bargaining agreement that expressly provides for paid sick days.

Employee eligibility

An employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick leave.

Leave accrual

An employee will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of not less than one hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later. Employees who are exempt from overtime requirements (administrative, executive, or professional employees under a wage order) are deemed to work 40 hours per workweek, unless the employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the employee will accrue paid sick leave based upon the normal workweek. Employers may limit accrual to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year.

Employers must allow employees to carry over all unused accrued paid sick leave to the following year; however, employers are not required to allow employees to accrue more than 48 hours of paid sick leave at any given time.


An employee may use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.

Employers’ current leave policies

Employers with existing paid leave or paid time off policies are not required to provide additional leave to their employees if their policies:

  • Satisfy the law’s accrual, usage, and carry over requirements; and
  • Provide no less than 24 hours of paid sick leave annually.

Additional Resources: FAQs on California Paid Sick Leave