The California Labor Commissioner Publishes Updated New Paid Sick Leave FAQs, Poster and 2810.5 Notice to Employees

By XobeeAdmin on December 27, 2023 in Legal Update

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently released updated guidance to help employers comply with new requirements starting on January 1, 2024 related to California’s mandatory paid sick leave law. Pursuant to SB 616, starting January 1, 2024, California’s mandatory paid sick leave time available to employees increases from three days or 24 hours to five days or 40 hours. The DIR has released several updates related to the increase in paid sick leave.

On December 12, 2023, the California Labor Commissioner updated the California Paid Sick Leave FAQs on changes to the law. The updated FAQs provide guidance on how employers can comply with the increase in paid sick leave whether the employer provides paid sick leave using an “up-front” or “accrual” method. Question 2 provides information on how to interpret the term “40 hours or five days.” Questions 15 & 16 of the Paid Sick Leave FAQs address how employers can transition to the new requirements. All three questions and their answers has been copied below:

  1. What does 40 hours or five days mean?

Starting on January 1, 2024, an employer must allow an employee to use at least five days or 40 hours, whichever is more (refer to DLSE Opinion Letter 2015.08.07).

Therefore, for example, if an employee works 10‑hour days, the employee will be entitled to use at a minimum 50 hours of paid sick leave.

Alternatively, if an employee works only 6 hours a day and takes five days of paid sick leave, for a total of 30 hours, the employee will still have 10 hours remaining.

These examples assume the employee has earned or received upfront their full amount of leave.

  1. If an employer uses an accrual method and capped an employee’s yearly use of leave at 3 days or 24 hours, what must an employer do to comply with the law on January 1, 2024?

If an employer uses an annual start date other than January 1 and implements a 12‑month use cap, that cap must change to 40 hours or 5 days on January 1, 2024. For example, if an employer uses the 12-month period of May 1 – April 30 and implements a cap and an employee used 24 hours or three days before January 1, 2024, the employer must allow the employee to use an additional 2 days or 16 hours before April 30 if the employee has accrued that additional leave.

  1. If an employer utilized the “up-front” method prior to January 1, 2024 and provided an employee with 3 days or 24 hours of leave on the employee’s anniversary date during the year, what must an employer do to comply with the law on January 1, 2024?

The employer has the choice to frontload the two additional days on January 1, 2024 or move the measurement of the yearly period to January 1, 2024 and frontload five days. For example, if an employee started on May 1, 2021 and the employer used that anniversary date to frontload 3 days or 24 hours on May 1, 2023, the employer may either provide 2 days or 16 hours on January 1, 2024 and keep the May 1 date to frontload or can “reset” the frontload date to January 1, 2024 and provide the employee 5 days or 40 hours then.

The Labor Commissioner also updated the poster to reflect the increase in paid sick leave. Employers are required to display a poster in an area frequented by employees where it may be easily read during the workday.

The 2810.5 employee notice was also updated. Beginning January 1, 2024, AB 636 amends Labor Code 2810.5 to require employers to include in the 2810.5 Notice information regarding any federal or state emergency or disaster declaration issued within 30 days before hire that applies to the county or counties in which the employee will work and that may impact the employee’s health and safety at work. The Labor Commissioner has updated the notice to comply with both SB 616 and AB 636. An employer previously providing less than 5 days or 40 hours of paid sick leave per year will need to provide employees a new copy of the notice.

Starting on March 15, 2024, AB 636 will also require employers with federal H-2A agricultural visa workers to provide such employees with all 2810.5 Notice information, along with new specified information regarding their rights under California law.

For background information on California’s paid sick leave law, visit our past blogs:


Takeaways for Employers