Mellissa Schafer Discusses California Paid Sick Leave Requirements in SHRM Magazine

February 19, 2024

Mellissa Schafer was recently featured in SHRM, reviewing whether California employers should frontload or accrue paid sick leave. As of January 1, under the amended Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, California employers are required to provide a minimum of five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave annually.

Schafer explained:

“The cost of living in California is high, and there are some parents who cannot afford to take a day off with no pay” [to care for a sick child]. After the pandemic, it is not surprising to see that California expanded the paid sick leave from three days to five days.”

She analyzed the various advantages and disadvantages of accrual or frontloading paid sick leave methods permitted under California law. Although there are many benefits of frontloading for employers, the largest concern is that employees could take advantage by taking all of their paid sick leave at once.

Schafer said that if paid sick leave abuse is widespread, an employer may want to consider using the accrual method because it allows carryover of the leave into the following year. She added that employees would be less likely to abuse sick leave if they knew they would not lose accrued leave at the end of the year.

Read the full article.

Should California Employers Frontload or Accrue Paid Sick Leave?” was published by SHRM on January 25, 2024.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S.-based law firm with offices nationwide. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, professional services, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw provides holistic legal solutions—from litigation and dispute resolution, and business advisory and transactional services, to regulatory compliance—for clients of all sizes. Visit for more information and follow @Hinshaw on LinkedIn and X.