Understanding the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO)

Sick leave is an important benefit for both employer and employee. Without it, employees go to work sick (nearly 50% according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study). A separate study by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that 30% of workers reported that they contracted the flu from a colleague.

Multiple states and cities have laws governing sick leave eligibility, accrual, carry over, pay and record keeping. Rules vary between jurisdictions. Employees who work in San Francisco (both city and county) are entitled to paid sick leave under both California and local San Francisco law.

Accruing Sick Leave in SF

On the very first day of employment, employees begin accruing sick leave. For every 30 hours worked, employees are to accrue one hour of paid sick leave. Employers with 10 or more employees must allow employees to accrue at least up to 72 hours.

If employers have less than 10 employees, accrual for sick leave differs. Employees are entitled to accrue at least 48 hours or must be provided an option for an “advance” of 24 hours or 3 days of paid sick leave to comply with SF law. Following this “up-front” option, employers must later allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours to stay in compliance with SF law.

And as a FYI, accrued sick leave carries over from year to year. Don’t forget to list the amount of available paid sick leave on each employee’s paystub. Refer to our 10 Itemized Pay Stub Requirements blog for more info!

When Employees Can Use Sick Leave in SF

After an employee has completed their 90th day of employment, the accrued sick leave is available for them to use. This sick leave can be used on any existing condition, preventive care, for taking care of family members, or to take care of matters pertaining to domestic abuse.

What’s Changed?

Recently, the SF PSLO’s rules were updated and revised. There have been no adjustments to accrual rates. However, interpretation of the rules has changed and a few “new” rules have been added.

  • Rule 1: Employee Notification of Paid Sick Leave Use
  • Rule 2: Employer Verification of Paid Sick Leave Use
  • Rule 3: Requirements Pertaining to the Amount of Paid Sick Leave Taken
  • Rule 4: Breaks in Service
  • Rule 5: Rate of Pay
  • Rule 6: Alternative & Limited San Francisco Work Schedules
  • Rule 7: Small Business Definition – Fluctuating Business Size
  • Rule 8: Accrual of Paid Sick Leave – Overtime and Exempt Employees
  • Rule 9: Controlled Group of Companies
  • Rule 10: Joint Employment
  • Rule 11: Time for Actions
  • Rule 12: Enforcement Procedures
  • Rule 13: Corrective Action and Penalties
  • Rule 14: Administrative Appeals Process

You can find the new/revised rules and explanations for each – effective June 7, 2018 – by clicking here.

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