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What are California's paid sick leave laws?

You've been working for some time, and you fall ill. You don't know if you should take time off, because you need the money. Sick leave could make sure you are still compensated for the work you have to miss.

How do you qualify for paid sick leave in California?

To qualify for paid sick leave within the state of California, you must work for the same employer for at least 30 days within a year. You will not be entitled to any paid sick time until you've passed your probationary period; this is a 90-day employment period in the case of paid sick leave requirements.

When can you claim paid sick leave?

You will be able to claim any paid sick leave you have accrued as of your 90th day of employment. Essentially, you must work for around three months before you'll be able to be paid for time off. You can, however, take days off that are not paid if you fall ill.

How much paid leave are you entitled to?

The new law in California simply states that you should be entitled to paid leave, but the plan your employer has may be one of several. Generally speaking, though, the law requires that employers give employees at least three days of sick leave each year. That amounts to 24 hours.

If you work a shift that is less than eight hours, then your required 24 hours may extend beyond a three-day period. It can be used by the hour or as a whole day, depending on the policies of your employer.

If you are part of an accrued sick days plan, then you gain more sick time for each year of employment. In that case, you could gain even more paid time off; under this plan, it's required that you earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours you work.

This is a short summary of some of the options in California. If you're not sure about the plan you're on, have your attorney or employer discuss the plan and its benefits with you.

Source:, "California Paid Sick Leave: Frequently Asked Questions," accessed June 16, 2016

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