Paid Time Off
California requires that you provide up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year, but you may limit sick time usage to 24 hours per year. Hours are accrued at a rate of 1 hour of sick leave gained for every 30 hours worked. Employees begin accruing sick leave the day they start working, but cannot use their sick time until they have worked for a minimum of 90 days. Please note that you must allow an employee’s unused accrued hours to carryover from one year to the next. You are not required to pay for accrued sick leave at the time of termination, no matter the reason.
Instead of allowing employees to accrue sick time, you may provide at least 24 hours of paid leave each year of employment. You may not have to provide any sick leave if your employees only provide in-home support services.
You are not required to provide vacation leave, but if you do, you must pay the employee at the time of termination for all vacation they earned but have not yet taken.
Some cities have additional laws concerning sick leave, and the more employer-friendly law applies. Carryover refers to being able to save accrued sick time from one year to the next:
- Berkeley: you may offer no less than 48 hours of sick leave upfront or use the accrual system. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required and sick time use may be capped at 48 hours per year.
- Emeryville: you may offer no less than 48 hours of sick leave upfront or use the accrual system. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required and sick time use may be capped at 24 hours per year.
- Los Angeles: you may offer no less than 48 hours of sick leave upfront or use the accrual system. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required but allowed to be capped at a minimum of 72 accrued hours, and sick time use may be capped at 48 hours per year.
- Oakland: You must allow employees to accrue sick time. At any given date, they may have up to 40 hours of accrued sick time saved, and carryover is required.
- San Diego: you may offer no less than 40 hours of sick leave upfront or use the accrual system. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required but allowed to be capped at a minimum of 80 accrued hours. Sick time use may be capped at 40 hours per year.
- San Francisco: you may offer no less than 40 hours of sick leave upfront or per 1,200 hours worked. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required. At any given date, sick time accrued may be capped at 40 hours, as in an employee may have a max of 40 hours “in the bank”.
- Santa Monica: you may offer no less than 40 hours of sick leave upfront or use the accrual system. If sick time is accrued, carryover is required.
The federal government establishes and updates a maximum rate for non-taxable mileage reimbursement each year. The current rate is $0.56 per mile.
California allows you to pay your household worker daily, weekly, bi-weekly or semi-monthly, but does not permit monthly pay cycles. You must pay overtime wages no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period that comes after the period in which the overtime wages were earned. Pay upon involuntary separation is due immediately, and within 72 hours for resignation.
You are required to provide your California household employee a pay stub every pay period that includes all applicable hourly rates, hours worked, gross and net wages earned, all deductions, the dates included in the pay period, their name and last 4 digits of their SSN or other individual taxpayer identification number, and your name and address.
Employment Contract Requirements
You must provide a signed employment agreement, confidentiality agreement and/or mutual agreement to arbitrate as appropriate, and a wage theft protection notice. A free sample work agreement can be found here.
The wage theft protection notice must include hourly and overtime pay rates per hour, any special pay rates, the regular pay day, your name, physical address, and telephone number, and the name, address, and policy number of your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. You are required to have your employee sign two copies, one for your records and one for their records. Whenever this information changes, you must send your employees a new notice.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
California requires household employers to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This is typically an endorsement in a California homeowner’s insurance policy. Additionally, HWS can help you obtain this insurance through our insurance partner (just give us a call).
State Unemployment Insurance
California requires a new employer state unemployment insurance tax of 3.4% for the first $7,000 wages paid to each employee. This may vary if you have previous employees.
Frequency of Tax Filings
CA requires near-immediate payment of income tax withholding upon meeting certain thresholds set by statute. Currently, you have 15 days to make a payment after accumulated taxes meet the state threshold. As such, HWS can only guarantee compliance through our Complete Payroll service level. Quarterly tax filings are required of all household employers.