Permissible Usage

An employee can use PSL for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition, or preventive care, for themselves or a “family member.”1 For example, an employee could take PSL for a cold or other sickness, for a sick child, or for an annual physical or other preventive care, like a flu shot.

An employee can use the full amount of the paid sick days for a qualifying family member.

For purposes of PSL, “family member” has a broader definition than that found in the Family and Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act (FMLA/CFRA). For more information, see FMLA and CFRA Qualifying Reasons.

A family member under the Act is a:

  • Child
    • Child is defined as a “biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis.” The definition of child applies regardless of the child's age or dependency status.
  • Parent (or parent-in-law)
    • Parent is defined as a “biological, adoptive or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee's spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.”
  • Spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Grandparent (outside of FMLA/CFRA laws)
  • Grandchild (outside of FMLA/CFRA laws)
  • Sibling (outside of FMLA/CFRA laws)

Because the definition of family member is broader than that under FMLA/CFRA, if, for example, an employee used three days of PSL under the Act to care for a grandchild, those particular three days could not be charged against an employee’s FMLA/CFRA entitlements because those leaves only cover children, parents, spouses and (CFRA only) registered domestic partners — not grandchildren.

PSL may also be used for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. For more information, see Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims' Leave.

  • Employers must ensure that they are correctly tracking when time is used for eligible reasons under the PSL mandate. Employers will also need to track whether any other leave law may be implicated, such as family and medical leave.

1.Lab. Code secs. 245.5, 246.5