State Bill (SB) 616 Overview

With Fall in full swing, it means legislative changes that affect small business owners and those they serve. At New Frontier, we help walk our customers through these changes as a part of our 4M consulting process.

This means that we’re here to help you navigate these legal changes and stay compliant with California law. As new laws are introduced and passed, we will be sure to update you on what you need to know.

What is State bill (SB) 616?

State Bill (SB) 616 was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 4. Simply put, it expands California’s paid sick leave (PSL) law by providing additional sick time leave for employees.

– The new law expands sick leave from three days (24 hours) to five days (40 hours) of protected time.

– Increases the cap that employers can place on paid sick days from six to 10 days and 48 to 80 hours

– Increases the number of paid sick days an employee can roll over to the next year from three to five days

– Extends procedural and anti-retaliation provisions in existing paid sick leave law.

Why is This Bill Important for Employees?

In signing the bill, Governor Newsom stated several reasons the new bill is significant, including:

– Lost productivity from employees who work while sick cost the US economy an estimated $273 million annually. (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine).

– Two days of unpaid sick time are roughly the equivalent of a month’s worth of gas, making it difficult to get to work. (Economic Policy Institute)

– Lower healthcare costs (CAP)

Female blowing nose into tissue, covered in a blanket sitting on a couch.

Important to Note

This is a statewide law and State Bill (SB) 616 goes into effect January 1, 2024 for all California employers. Please note that there are several other provisions in the bill. As a result, a direct consultation with one of our HR representatives is advised. While there are strong arguments mentioned in support of this bill, not everyone is sure of the overall economic impact. Cal Chamber issued the following statement, which reads (in part).

This new mandate will impose significant costs on California businesses, especially small employers already operating on slim margins. 

Stay tuned for more legislative updates. As always, if you have any questions, please be sure to contact us. We help your small business navigate the complexity of the HR landscape in California so you can sleep soundly and focus on what matters.