Paid Sick Leave Laws in California

After the paid sick leave provision came into effect in 2015, employers are required to pay their employees when they take a sick leave. An organization’s paid leave policy may continue without alteration if they provide more or equal sick days and benefits under the same conditions to employees, as compared to law specifications.

The new law only concerns sick leave and doesn’t include leaves taken for other purposes. The law states that the rate of pay for sick leaves should be equal to the regular rate of pay. This can be determined by calculating the regular rate of the workweek in which the leave was taken or through taking a 90-day average.


It is not required to include overtime pay while deciding the rate of sick leave pay and employers can also use their own paid sick leave policies as long as it adheres to the laws.
About The Laws

According to the paid sick leave laws, an employee can take paid sick leave for certain purposes. If the employee has accumulated sick leaves which are available, then the employer is not permitted to deny the leave application.


According to the statute, the employer cannot discriminate an employee in any manner or take action against the employee for:

  1. Applying for and/or using the accrued sick leaves


  1. Alleging or filing a complaint about the article’s violation


  1. Being cooperative towards investigation and prosecution for alleged violation or opposition of any practice, policy or act that is prohibited in the article.


Other Provisions
Additionally, section 233 of the Labor Code states that the employer must allow usage of sick leaves which have accumulated in the last 6 months for purposes given under the law concerning paid sick leaves.


As per the section 234 of Labor Code, any employer policy which takes sick leaves pursuing Section 233 into consideration, for controlling absences and/or to discipline employees in any way can result in legal actions for violating Section 233. However, if an employee has utilized all their sick leaves or if they take a sick leave for a different purpose than the ones mentioned, the employer is eligible to take disciplinary action.


The statute allows employees to take sick leaves if:

  1. The employee or their family member requires to be diagnosed, cared for, treated for any existing health condition or needs preventive care.


  1. The employee is a victim of either sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence then they may take leave for any of the purposes given in Section 230 subdivision (c) and Section 230.1 subdivision (a).