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Sick Leave

There are no current federal laws mandating paid sick leave. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that all companies that are subject to the FMLA must provide unpaid sick leave for up to twelve weeks during any twelve-month period for the following reasons:

  • The birth and care of an employee’s child, or the placement of an adopted or foster child with the employee;
  • Care of a serious health issue or medical condition for the employee him- or herself;
  • Care of an immediate family member (child, spouse, or parent) with a serious health issue or medical condition.


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FMLA

Employees qualify for FMLA leave as long as they have worked for at least twelve months and at least 1,250 hours during the previous twelve months; they must also work at a location within seventy-five miles of their employer, at which at least fifty workers are employed. It is usually possible for paid leave to take the place of FMLA leave.


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As With Federal Law, California Law Does Not Mandate Paid Sick Leave For Employees

Additionally, no company with fewer than fifty employees is required under California law to provide either paid or unpaid sick leave. However, any company voluntarily providing paid sick leave for employees must allow said employees to use all sick leave accrued during a period of time set by company regulations. While company policies for sick leave may allow for a “use it or lose it” approach to paid sick leave, they cannot disallow the use of sick leave against their own policies.


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State Disability Insurance & Paid Family Leave

During any such time period; under California labor law, employees must be allowed the opportunity to use all accrued sick leave to the extent allowed under company policy.  Regardless of company policies, California employees may qualify for paid sick leave through the State Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave programs.