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2024 California Minimum Wage & Sick Pay Law Update: What Employers Need to Know

In an attempt to enhance the well-being and livability of workers across the state of California, the state has implemented significant updates to its sick pay laws and has raised the minimum wage. It's essential that employers are aware of these changes and comply with the law to avoid getting into legal trouble. We'll cover the main aspects of the 2024 California minimum wage and sick pay law update.

CA Increased Paid Sick Leave

Getting sick is never fun, but it can be even more stressful when you run out of sick days and are in jeopardy of losing your job. Effective January 1st, 2024, as part of the 2024 California Minimum Wage & Sick Pay Law employers are now required to provide employees with a minimum of 40 hours (or 5 days) of paid sick leave per year. Previously, employees were only required to give employees 24 hours or 3 days of sick leave which can be challenging for those facing recurrent or chronic illnesses. 

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CA Reproductive Loss Leave

Another provision introduced by the state of California is the Reproductive Loss Leave. Infertility and child loss are emotionally draining and physically taxing life events, and now employees are required to give employees five days off when they experience a reproductive loss. This can include failed adoptions, miscarriages, stillbirths, or unsuccessful embryo transfers or artificial inseminations. 

CA Minimum Wage Increase

The last time the minimum wage was raised in California was back in 2016, and now, effective January 1st, 2024, it has been raised again. The state of California has raised the minimum wage to $16 an hour for most employers. It's essential that employers are aware of this change and put these new wage rates into practice right away. It's also important that California employers know that various cities and counties across the state have their own minimum wage rates, some of which may be higher than the state’s requirement. Employers are always required to adhere to the higher applicable rates to avoid legal consequences.

Differential Minimum Wage Rates

There are a few details and timelines that California employers should be aware of regarding the new minimum wage. Fast-food restaurant employers will see a wage increase starting in April, while those working in the healthcare industry will see a change in their paychecks starting in June.

Wrapping up the CA wage law changes for 2024

The increase in the minimum wage and the inclusion of reproductive loss leave and increased sick days signifies a proactive step towards ensuring California workers everywhere receive fair compensation, especially when facing life's most challenging circumstances. Employers are encouraged to quickly adjust their policies to comply, and create a work environment that prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees. California continues to address cost of living concerns, and these legislative changes are a small step towards an elevated standard of living for minimum wage workers. 


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