2105 - Sick Leave
- Employee Relations Officers
- Personnel Officers
- Personnel Transactions Supervisors
- Labor Relations Officers
- Provides a definition of sick leave for represented and excluded employees.
- Provides sick leave entitlement per California Code of Regulations, Government Codes, Memoranda of Understanding, and Labor Codes.
- Provides the eligibility, accrual, enrollment and accumulation about the Vacation/Sick Leave Program.
- Identifies which position determines the sick leave accrual rate for an employee who has more than one position.
- Provides information on qualifying pay periods and breaks in service.
- Provides other uses in which sick leave can be utilized.
This policy statement provides information on sick leave and other entitlements under the sick leave policy.
Sick leave is provided to state employees pursuant to: the Government Code, the California Labor Code, the California Code of Regulations, and/or Memoranda of Understanding (MOU).
Effective January 1, 2016, California Labor Code section 233 was amended to include updates to Labor Code section 245.5 and 246.5 which permits employees to use sick leave for the following reasons:
The diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee's family member. An employee’s family members include:
children (biological, adoptive, foster, step, legal ward, or to whom the employee stands in the place of a parent);
parents (biological, adoptive, foster, step, legal guardian of the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in the place of a parent when the employee was a minor child);
spouse or registered domestic partner;
When an employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, sick leave may be used for:
obtaining or attempting to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to a temporary restraining order, a restraining order, or other injunctive relief;
to seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
to obtain the services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center;
to obtain psychological counseling;
to participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including relocation.
The above establishes the minimum requirements for sick leave. For represented employees, refer to the applicable MOU to determine if any other sick leave provisions apply.
For excluded employees, in addition to the above uses, sick leave may be used for the required attendance upon an ill or injured person residing in the immediate household of the excluded employee.
Sick leave for excluded employees may be used in 30 minute increments.
It is the Department of Human Resources’ policy to place no limit on the amount of sick leave that can be used for the reasons specified above.
Per California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.746 after the completion of each qualifying pay period, each full-time employee shall be allowed one day credit for sick leave with pay. Per California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.608 a qualifying pay period means an employee must have 11 or more working days of service in a monthly pay period. In order for a part-time month to be a qualifying pay period, an employee must work at least that fraction of 88 hours (11 days) that correspond to the employee’s time base. Sick leave credits are given on a pro rata basis to fractional time base employees on the first day of the monthly pay period following completion of a qualifying pay period. An intermittent employee must have 160 hours of paid employment to receive a qualifying monthly pay period and will receive sick leave credits on the first day of every monthly qualifying pay period. For represented employees refer to the applicable MOU.
Upon hire, most employees may elect to enroll in either Vacation/Sick Leave Program or the Annual Leave Program (ALP). Employees may elect to enroll in the other program when eligible. Employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21 are subject to an open enrollment period. Open enrollment is each April 1 through April 30, and enrollment changes are effective June 1.
Excluded and employees represented by Bargaining Units 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, and 19, maintain a continuous enrollment eligibility period. Employees must remain in the ALP or Vacation/Sick Leave Program for at least 24 months from the last date of election.
An employee holding a position in addition to other full-time employment with the state shall not receive credit for sick leave with pay for service in the additional position.
Where an employee holds two (2) or more less than full-time positions, the time worked in each position shall be combined for purposes of computing credits for sick leave with pay but such credits shall not exceed full-time employment credit.
Sick Leave may be accumulated without limit.
Break in Service
An employee who has 11 or more working days of service in a monthly pay period shall be counted as qualifying service (qualifying pay period) for sick leave accrual purposes.
An employee who has a break in the continuity of employment because of a permanent separation of less than six months or because of a temporary separation, the full-time employee's prior unused sick leave balance is restored.
An employee whose continuity of employment is broken by a permanent separation of six months or longer and is subsequently reemployed cannot be credited with any unused sick leave accumulated prior to the employee's separation and the full-time employee must complete one month of continuous service before being granted eight hours of sick leave credit.
Other Uses for Sick Leave
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Stalking
Per California Labor Code section 230.1 employers with 25 or more employees may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, as defined in California Family Code Section 6211, for taking time off to seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence, obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center, or to participate in safety planning to increase safety from future domestic violence.
Labor Code sections 230 and 230.1, which provide leave benefits to victims of domestic violence, were amended to extend the same benefits to victims of sexual assault and stalking.
Under the Labor Code an employer may not discharge, discriminate, or retaliate, against an employee who is a victim of sexual assault or stalking, for taking time off from work to appear in court to obtain a civil restraining order, or other legal protection necessary to ensure his or her health and safety or that of his or her child.
As a condition for taking time off, the employee shall give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee's intention to take time off for any of the purposes summarized above, unless advance notice is not feasible. When an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer may require the employee to certify that the absence is a result of domestic violence in the form of a police report, a court order, or medical documentation. An employer would be required to maintain the confidentiality of any employee's request for time off pursuant to provision of this law.
The law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for the time taken off under these circumstances, but the employee may use vacation, personal leave, or other compensating time off that is otherwise available to the employee. Effective January 1, 2016, Senate Bill 579 amended California Labor Code section 233 to include sick leave reasons specified under Labor Code 246.5 such as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This amendment now allows employees to use sick leave for the reasons listed above.
The provisions of this bill apply to the state as an employer and to state employees. The entitlement of any employee under this law shall not be diminished by a collective bargaining agreement.
Wounded Warriors Transitional Leave Act
Government Code section 19859 has been amended to include Senate Bill 221 and Senate Bill 728.
Senate Bill 221
This law grants eligible state officers or employees, hired on or after January 1, 2016, 96 hours of sick leave to be used for the treatment of a military service-connected disability. To qualify, the employee must be a military veteran with a military service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA).
Departments are required to inform employees hired on or after January 1, 2016, of this sick leave entitlement. The 96 hours of sick leave shall be credited and available for use by the qualifying employee on their first day of employment, and is not prorated based on time base.
Senate Bill 728
Effective January 1, 2018, Senate Bill 728 grants officers or employees who serve as a member of the National Guard or federal military reserve force who are called up to active service and as a result sustain a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more by the USDVA an additional credit for sick leave with pay of up to 96 hours. This leave may be used when an employee is undergoing medical treatment, including mental health treatment, for his or her service-connected disability.
The 96 hours of sick leave shall be credited to a qualifying officer or employee on the effective date of the employee’s disability rating decision from the USDVA or on the first day that the qualifying employee begins or returns to employment after active duty, whichever is later.
Senate Bill 221 & Senate Bill 728
For eligible employees, the sick leave shall remain available for use for the following 12 months of employment. Leave that is not used during the 12-month period shall not be carried over and shall be forfeited
Eligible employees are required to submit a verification letter to their personnel office in order to receive the sick leave credit. A verification letter may be requested from any USDVA office by calling (800) 827-1000 or accessing a Veterans Affairs eBenefits account.
Departmental personnel officers are responsible for developing and implementing a method to track the credit, use, and expiration of this sick leave entitlement, which shall be maintained separate from any other sick leave balance. A separate leave type will not be available for users of the State Controller’s Office California Leave Accounting System. CalHR has created a sample tracking form for departments use in order to track the additional 96 hours of sick leave. Departments are required to keep all records pertaining to this leave in case of audit.
- Bargaining Contracts - MOUs
- California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.745
- California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.745.1
- Government Code section 19859
- Labor Code section 233
- Labor Code section 246.5
- Labor Code section 245.5
- Wounded Warriors: Wounded Warriors Transition Leave Tracking Form
- PML 2001-025: PML 2001-025 - 6/20/2001 - Time Off for Victims of Domestic Violence
- PML 2002-078: PML 2002-078 - 12/3/2009 - Time Off for Victims of Sexual Assault
- PML 2016-002: PML 2016-002 - 1/15/2016 - Wounded Warriors Transitional Leave Act - Sick Leave
Chief, Personnel Management Division
Personnel Services Branch
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Services Branch