New Paid Sick Leave Law Requires More than Kin Care

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lee_sunnyI am confused about my obligations under kin care. How do they relate to the new sick leave law?

The new state paid sick leave law protections and rights of an employee to use paid sick leave are broader than those contained in the kin care law.

Kin Care

Kin care never created a separate right for an employee to get paid sick leave, nor did it define how much sick leave had to be provided or which employees had to be provided with sick leave.

Kin care merely extended the use of sick leave to an employee for the care of a sick child, spouse, domestic partner or parent. It was never a mandate on an employer to provide paid sick leave or keep records, nor did it give the employee the right to go to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for being denied paid sick leave.

New Paid Sick Leave Law

The new state paid sick leave law, which goes into effect July 1, goes much further by requiring that every employer provide a minimum level (3 days or 24 hours) of paid sick leave to all employees.

In addition, it extends paid sick leave for the care of a grandchild, grandparent or sibling. Further, it does not limit the use of paid sick leave, as kin care did, to half the annual accrual. The entire sick leave accrual or lump sum can be used for the employee or the care of covered family members

Employers with existing sick leave or paid time off (PTO) policies that do not comply with the terms of the new mandated sick leave law—even though their policies complied with kin care—will have to update those policies to reflect these new requirements.

For further information about the new state-mandated sick leave law, visit HRCalifornia or contact the Helpline.


The Labor Law Helpline is a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.

Staff Contact: Sunny Lee

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Sunny Lee
About Sunny Lee
Sunny Lee joined the CalChamber in 1995 and currently is an HR adviser. Before joining the CalChamber staff, Lee represented employers in state and federal court and before governmental agencies. She has extensive dispute resolution experience, having served as a court mediator in harassment cases, employment disputes and business litigation. She has trained employers and conducted audits of employment practices. Lee earned a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.