For this first installment of my Anticipated CA Labor Laws for 2024 series, we’ll be diving into new laws regarding state paid sick leave that Newsom signed into law during the most recent legislative cycle.
Come 2024, two new laws will go into action that will further expand the rights and benefits of California workers: Senate Bill (SB) 616 and SB 848. The two bills concern a statewide increase in paid sick leave and reproductive loss leave, and are both set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
Whether you’re an employee or employer, it’s important to stay in the legislative loop – which is exactly what this series is designed for. Along with new laws related to employee leave, I’ll be covering legislation concerning employee pay increases, workplace health and safety, and new restrictions on non-compete agreements for employers to be aware of.
Learn more about the anticipated impacts of SB 616 and SB 848, and be sure to visit the next installment of this series, Part 2: AB 1228 & SB 525 Boost Fast Food & Healthcare Wages.
SB 616: More Paid Sick Leave for California Employees
Signed by Governor Newsom on October 4, 2023, SB 616 amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to increase the amount of mandatory paid sick leave available to California employees. Under the current law, employers are required to provide at least three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave for their own or a family member’s illness, injury, or medical care, for for other reasons related to domestic violence or sexual assault.
Starting January 1, 2024, SB 616 increases the minimum amount of paid sick leave available for employees from three days, or 24 hours, to five days or 40 hours per year. The law also increases the annual use limit and accrual and carryover cap to five days, or 40 hours.
This means that employees can accrue up to 10 days or 80 hours of paid sick leave over two years, and can use up to five days or 40 hours per year. Employers will be able to choose to provide paid sick leave either by the accrual method (one hour for every 30 hours worked), or by the lump sum method (providing the full amount at the beginning of each year).
The new law applies to all California employees regardless of size, spare for railroad carriers. It also extends the anti-retaliation and procedural protections of the current law to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Employers must provide written notice to employees of their available paid sick leave balance either on their pay stubs, or on a separate document.
SB 848: New Reproductive Loss Leave for California Employees
SB 848, signed by Governor Newsom on October 10, 2023, creates a new type of leave for employees who experience a reproductive loss.
A reproductive loss is defined as a “failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction,” such as artificial insemination or embryo transfer. Employees who would have been recognized as parents for these lost pregnancies are eligible for this type of leave.
The law requires employers with at least five employees to provide up to five days of reproductive loss leave to employees who have worked for at least 30 days. The leave must be taken within three months of the event, unless otherwise agreed on by the employer and employee. If a worker suffers more than one reproductive loss within 12 months, the employer isn’t obligated to grant more than 20 days of leave within that period.
Reproductive loss is separate and distinct from other common types of leave under California law, such as paid sick leave, family and medical leave, and pregnancy disability leave. If a leave policy isn’t in effect, reproductive loss leave may be unpaid – however, employees can use any other paid or unpaid leave available to them, including vacation, personal leave, sick leave, or paid time off.
Wrapping up, SB 848 also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for requesting reproductive loss leave, or for giving information testimony about their leave. Employers are required to maintain the confidentiality of employees to take reproductive loss leave, and not disclose any related information without their consent.
Stay Tuned for Part 2: New Laws Regarding Pay Increases
In the second part of my Anticipated CA Laws for 2024 series, we’ll be discussing more new legislation that concerns pay increases for certain classes of California workers.
Bills such as AB 1228, AB 257, and SB 700 will impact employers and employees, particularly in the fast food and healthcare industries. Be sure to bookmark my blog and visit again soon for more 2024 legislative updates.
Mediation & Conflict Resolution
Whether you’re an employee or employer, should you need help mediating or resolving conflicts related to the new sick and reproductive leave laws or related matters, consider contacting an experienced and trusted mediator or neutral like myself to assist. Mediation and alternative dispute resolution is almost always the best choice for the resolution of any litigated or potentially litigated matter, and offers the best guarantee of certainty and closure.
Experienced Employment & Title IX Mediator & ADR Professional
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment, labor law & Title IX mediator and alternative dispute resolution professional. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Signature Resolution, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation and resolution of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, fraternities, and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @iamangelareddockwright, LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/angelareddock, and tune in to my weekly radio show, KBLA Talk 1580’s Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am PST, or catch past episodes on Anchor.fm/Spotify. You can learn more about the radio show here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/radio-show/.
Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/book/.
For media inquiries, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding resources mediation and dispute resolution resources for both employees and employers, connect with Angela on LinkedIn for new updates or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.