doctorAlong with the 900+ other laws enacted by California taking effects in 2015, California’s new mandatory paid sick leave law has left many employers wondering how they are affected and what must be done to comply, and by when.

Here’s a guide to help your company or small business meet the requirements and deadlines:


  • What is the New Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law? Earlier in the year, the California Legislature passed the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA) which requires all employers, regardless of size, to provide paid sick leave to employees.’
  • What Kinds of Employers Must Comply? All of them. There are no minimum size limits (like employers with over 50 employees, etc.) Every employer must comply.
  • What Kinds of Employees Must be Provided with Sick Leave? All of them, whether part time, full time, temporary, exempt, non-exempt, or otherwise, as long as they work 30 or more days in California annually. Employers located outside of California must provide paid sick leave to any employee who works at least 30 days in California.
  • When Does the Law Begin? The notice requirements (below) began on January 1, 2015, and the employee’s right to accrue sick leave starts July 1, 2015.
  • What Must Businesses Do to Comply? 
    • Display the Poster. Starting January 1, 2015, employers must display a poster created by the Labor Commissioner informing employees of their rights under the HWHFA. A copy of this poster can be found here.
    • Provide the New Hire Notices. Employers must also provide updated new hire notices under Labor Code § 2810.5 which include an explanation of employees’ rights to use and accrue paid sick leave. For more information, please click here to obtain a sample.
    • July 1, 2015. Starting July 1, 2015, Employers must provide paid sick leave to Employers using one of two methods:
      • Accrual Method. Under the accrual method, employees must, at minimum, accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrued sick leave must carry over year to year, but employers can cap the accrual at no less than 48 hours (six days). While employees are entitled to accrue up to 48 hours of paid sick leave, an employer can limit an employee’s use of paid sick leave to 24 hours (three days) in any one year.
      • Upfront Method.  Under the “upfront” method, employers must provide employees with a lump sum of no less than 24 hours (three days) of paid sick leave at the beginning of each year. Under this option, the full 24 hours of leave must be available at the beginning of each year for each employee to use.
    • Written Notice and Itemization.  Starting July 1, 2015, Employers must also provide written notice to employees of the amount of paid sick leave available either on employees’ itemized wage statements or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date.
    • Recordkeeping Requirements. Employers must keep records of employees’ hours worked and paid sick days accrued and used for at least three years.

Have questions? Check out our FAQs concerning California’s new paid sick leave law, to read more details and address common situations.

Need a notice template? Download our sample form here.

AXIS Legal Counsel’s Business and Corporations Practice provides legal advice to numerous businesses with a variety of legal matters involving employees and labor law. We can assist in establishing compliance with California’s Employment and Wage & Hour laws, employee handbooks, leave policies, promotions, demotions, terminations, payroll matters, and other employment requirements.  AXIS offers full-service legal support to businesses and companies, and can also assist your company with business formations and governance, contracts, deals, and transactions, administration & operations, risk management / insurancelabor/employment matters, intellectual property, healthcare, crisis management, directors/officers, private/data security, technology, statutory/legal compliance, and business litigation.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation.