California’s Paid Sick Leave Law

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California’s paid sick leave law, which went into effect on July 1, 2015, allows employees to take time off from work to address their health or a family member’s illness without losing a paycheck.  The paid sick leave law in California helps to promote a healthy workforce.


California’s paid-sick-leave law includes the following basic requirements:

Reason Why an Employee May Utilize Sick Leave



The sick leave law requires employers to allow employees to take paid sick leave for themselves or a family member for the following reasons:

Employees have the right to decide when to use their paid sick leave, and employers are prohibited from interfering with this right. An employer must allow the use of paid sick leave even when an employee does not provide details about the need to use sick leave or fails to produce a doctor’s note.

Covered Family Members. 


A family member is defined as an employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. This definition may differ under local paid-sick-leave laws. Employers must comply with both state and local laws. 


Retaliation against employees who use paid sick leave is prohibited. Employers cannot discipline employees for absences related to paid sick leave.