California Supreme Court Rules "Kin Care" Law Inapplicable to Leave Plans Providing Unlimited or Uncapped Paid Sick Time


California Labor Code section 233 states that employers providing employees with paid sick leave must allow employees to use, in any calendar year, the amount of sick leave that would be accrued during six months at the employees' then-current rate of entitlement, for care of an ill child, parent, spouse or domestic partner. An additional condition is that the amount of time to be used must have actually been accrued—and the law does not require the employer to provide "advances" on paid sick time. In the past, many employers provided paid sick time, but their policies maintained that paid sick time was to be used only for the employee's own illness. Labor Code section 233 required a change for those employers, and up to half of employees' annual sick-time accrual could be used to attend to a sick family member, as long as the time was already accrued and available for use.

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