As an employer, you recognize that California’s employment laws are exacting and that compliance is essential to running and growing your small business. As of January 1, 2024, California has updates on the books that are worthy of attention. To remain compliant and to help support your most important business asset – your employees – look to the guidance of an experienced California business law attorney

Increased Sick Leave

One of the most significant changes on the books are the enhancements for paid sick leave. In the past, California employers owed their employees 24 hours of paid sick leave a year, but the law that went into effect on January 1 increased this to 40 hours – or 5 workdays –  of paid sick leave, whichever is more. How this plays out depends upon how your employees’ days are scheduled. Consider the following:

  • If an employee works 8-hour days, they are entitled to 40 hours – or 5 days – of paid sick leave each year.
  • If an employee works 10-hour days, they are entitled to 5 days of paid sick leave each year, which translates to 50 hours.
  • If an employee works 6-hour days, they are entitled to 5 days of sick leave – or 30 hours – with an additional 10 hours to meet the 40-hour mark.

Increased Minimum Wage

The minimum wage throughout California increased to $16.00 an hour on January 1, 2024. It’s important to note, however, that local minimum wage ordinances can be higher. Generally, local increases hit in July, but some increase at the new year. For example, Palo Alto’s minimum wage is now $17.80, Los Alto’s is $17.75, and Redwood City’s is $17.70. Because additional requirements are involved, working with a seasoned business attorney is advised.  

Reproductive Loss

The State of California recognizes the immense toll associated with reproductive losses, and those employers with at least five employees are now required, under most circumstances, to afford employees up to five days of unpaid leave in relation to each of the following:

  • Unsuccessful adoption
  • Unsuccessful surrogacy
  • Unsuccessful assisted reproduction
  • Miscarriage 
  • Stillbirth 

Wage Theft Notice Updates

Wage Theft Notices have been required for new employees at the time of hire in California since 2012, and 2024 is no different. This year’s Notice, however, includes information on the existence of a federal or state emergency or disaster that was likely prompted by the pandemic.  

Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

California employers are now required to develop a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) that goes into effect by July 1, 2024. This plan can be a separate system or can dovetail with the company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. There are exceptions for business’s whose employees are remote or are primarily remote.  

Consult with an Experienced California Business Law Attorney Today

Claire Kalia at Kalia Law P.C. is an accomplished California business law attorney whose imposing experience informs her skilled legal guidance. To learn more about how we can help you protect your bottom line and grow your business while bolstering compliance, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 650-701-7617 today.   


- Claire Kalia


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