5 California Employment Law Updates for 2024

Information was collected from our recent webinar presented by Erick Becker, Cummins & White on 11/1/2023 and CCIA’s HR Platform partner, Mineral.

Erick Becker


Every new year brings changes to the laws applicable to California employers. As we look forward to 2024, here are 5 California employment laws taking effect. It is important to update your employee handbooks for the upcoming year to ensure compliance with these new requirements.

This post provides an overview of these laws and does not include all information needed to comply. Watch the full webinar recording that covers these California employment laws below in depth.

Paid Sick Leave Expansion

This bill expands Paid Sick Leave entitlements to California employees. An employee is now entitled to use up to 40 hours (5 days) of paid sick leave per year. Previously, employees were entitled to three days or 24 hours. The accrual carryover rate will increase to 80 hours, however, employers can still limit it to 40 hours of use per year. This applies to all employees – full-time, part-time, and temporary.

There are two methods for providing sick leave:
-Lump Sum

Watch the Paid Sick Leave excerpt from our webinar.

Click here to learn about the difference between the Accrual Method and the Lump Sum Method, as well as how to use caps and carryovers.

Reproductive Loss Leave

Employers with five or more paid employees must grant their employees up to five days of unpaid reproductive loss leave following a “reproductive loss event”. The law defines a “reproductive loss event” as the day or, for a multiple-day event, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction.

Employees must have worked for their employer for at least 30 days prior to taking the leave.

Restrictions on usage:
-Leave must be taken within 3 months of the loss, and does not have to be used consecutively.
-Maximum of 20 days within a 12-month period, even if an employee experiences more than one loss within that time.

There is no current guidance stating whether religious organizations/employers are excluded. The safest course of action is to assume this applies to all organizations.

Watch the Reproductive Loss Leave excerpt from our webinar. 

Read more details about the bill here.

Workplace Violence Prevention Program

Effective July 1, 2024, employers with 10 or more employees must develop and have in place a workplace violence prevention plan. Can be included in the Injury Illness and Prevention Program or a standalone plan.

Employers must also provide workplace violence training and keep a record log for every workplace violence incident for 5 years.

Watch the Workplace Violence Prevention excerpt from our webinar. 

Read more about this bill here.

Off-Duty Cannabis Use Protection

This bill makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person because of the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace. It is now a protected classification in California under FEHA, similar to age, race, etc.

However, employers can still terminate or take action based on reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence while on the job.

Watch the Off-Duty Marijuana Use excerpt from our webinar. 

Whistleblower Claims

Employee complaints regarding unlawful work practices can lead to retaliation claims if that employee is disciplined or terminated within 90 days of submitting the complaint. The new law creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliation. Requires documented evidence of a non-retaliatory reason for action.

Watch the Whistleblower Claims excerpt from our webinar.


If you have additional questions regarding these new California employment laws and how to implement them in your house of worship or nonprofit, Church & Casualty customers can contact Erick Becker at AskHR@ccia.com. Erick Becker is part of CCIA’s Advisory Team, our dedicated team of professionals that assist our customers with free services such as HR, Legal, Financial, and Security.