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Title: California Sick Time Accruals Based on Hours Worked

Brief description:

This page addresses how to handle California sick time accruals based on hours worked. Below are initial setup and periodic maintenance steps to handle in Unanet. 

What’s covered in this document:


California's Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 requires the following:

"An employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment, is entitled to paid sick leave. Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrual begins on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later."


    • Employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services providers, and certain employees of air carriers are not covered by this law.

    • An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave. For the most up to date information, consult the link above. That said, as of the time of this writing, the limit an employee can use in one year is up to 24 hours or three days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days.


    • An employee may use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.
    • An employee may request paid sick days in writing or verbally. An employee cannot be required to find a replacement as a condition for using paid sick days.
    • An employee can take paid leave for employee’s own or a family member for the diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition or preventive care or for specified purposes for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.*

*At the time of this writing, the Exceptions and Usage items above are based on the following link:

The following represents the high-level steps that the Unanet Admin will take each timesheet period. Step-by-step instructions follow in additional sections below.

  1. Export Time: The Unanet Admin will export the employees’ time using the Time template called "CA Sick Time Hourly Accruals." This export will compute the sick time earned in the period. 
  2. Import Accrual Balances: The Unanet Admin will import this file back into Unanet via a "Person Accrual" Admin Import, adding to any existing balance in Unanet for that person(s).
  3. Accrual Post: The Unanet Admin will run the Accrual Post process to generate any cap adjustments. NOTE: this post will actually be posting the next period’s post.

Initial Setup

  • Load the following export template: California Sick Time Hourly Accruals.csv onto your instance of Unanet (via Admin > Export > Import). 
    • Edit the template as appropriate (for Employee Types, Project Org Code, Project Code, Accrual Begin Date).
  • Set up a Project Type of "FRINGE" and ensure that your leave projects are associated with this Project Type (or change the export template accordingly).
  • Ensure that a Location for "California" is set up in Admin > Setup > Locations.
  • Create Accrual Plan in Unanet .
    • Plan Tab
      • Call it "California Sick Accrual Plan."
      • Set the Period Type to "Yearly."
      • Set the start date to be the first date of the first period earnings should be calculated in the system for your company.
      • Set the Posting Options to "Manual" (this Accrual Plan will not be scheduled to run automatically, but will be run manually only for the purpose of applying a cap of hours).
    • Schedule Tab
      • Put 0 in the MONTHS OF SERVICE.
      • Put 0 in the ACCRUAL HOURS.
      • Put "Annually (Hire Date)" in the CAP TYPE.
      • Put 24 in the CAP HOURS.

Ongoing Person Profile Setup and Maintenance

In order for these processes to work properly, there are a few manual steps required in the setup and termination of each affected California employee.


  1. A UDF called “Original Hire Date (used for CA sick accrual)” will need to be populated. For an employee that is only hired one time, this date will match the Hire Date on the employee’s Person Profile.
  2. Ensure that the Person Profile Location is set to California.


  1. If an employee is terminated and is subsequently rehired, their new Hire Date will be updated on the person profile. The UDF date will remain unchanged.
  2. If an employee is terminated and is not rehired within a year, that employee will forfeit any unused, accrued sick time. The Unanet Admin will need to manually adjust for this in the person’s Profile.

Ongoing Periodic Procedure

Export Time to calculate earned sick leave

The CA Sick Time Hourly Accruals export should be run each timesheet period, after all of the timesheets have been approved. This export will calculate how many hours of sick time an employee will earn, based on the total hours worked during the period. One hour of sick leave is accrued for every 30 hours worked. Any time charged on a timesheet that has the Project Type of "FRINGE" will be ignored, and the person will not accrue time charged to Sick, Vacation, etc.

All employees with a California default person location will be included in the export.

  1. Click on Admin > Export.
  2. Click the blue arrow next to "CA Sick Time Hourly Accruals" in the TIME TEMPLATES section.
  3. On the criteria screen, select the following options:
    1. Select the appropriate beginning and end date for the timesheet period.
    2. Deselect "Exempt" and "Non-Employee" classification type to make the export run faster and to run only for Non-Exempt (Hourly) users.
    3. For the Timesheet Status, check the boxes for COMPLETED, LOCKED, and EXTRACTED (or as appropriate for your existing export processes).
    4. For Adjustments, select Include Adjustments using worked date (this will ensure that the sick hours calculated will include any adjustments that may have been made to any LOCKED timesheets).
  4. Click Run Export.
  5. After you click Run Export, you will be taken to the exported data screen.
  6. Click the Download the file link to save the data exported into a .csv file that will be imported back into Unanet to update the employees sick balance (see next step).

Import Accrual Balances to load earned sick leave

Now you will import the file directly back into Unanet, populating the employees’ earned sick time which was calculated in the export process.

  1. Click on Admin > Import.
  2. On the criteria screen, select the following options: 
    1. Choose “Person Accruals” as the TYPE OF IMPORT.
    2. Click Choose File and find the file downloaded in Step 6 above.
    3. Click Import to import the data.

If any errors occur during import, you will need to resolve the errors and import the earned sick time for the employee with the error. You will have the option to download the error into a separate file. You can use this to import those specific employees with the error once the issue has been resolved. Note that for any rows that imported without error, these were added to the system even if other rows errored out. 

Post Accruals to apply Cap

Once the import is complete, and you have confirmed the hours, the final step is to run the accrual post for the period. This process enforces any established cap hours and does not actually post additional hours (unlike a normal accrual plan).

The Accrual Plan is set to cap the hours annually, based on the employee’s Hire Date (populated in the user’s person profile). When you run the post, the cap will then be enforced on the user’s anniversary date.

  1. Click on Admin > Accruals.
  2. Check the box for the "CA Sick" Accrual Plan for the current month you are processing.
  3. Select the appropriate date for posting. For Example: If the Time Export was run for 1/1/2016-1/15/2016, then this post process should be run for 1/16/2016-1/31/2016 to ensure the dates on the leave reports will be in sync with when the hours were earned.
  4. Click Post.
  5. After the Post, you will see the screen of the employees that were updated.
  6. Now you can verify the imported and posted hours by running the Accrual Details report in the People Reports section.

Additional Information

Help Docs - Admin Accruals

KC - Time Off section

State of California - Sick Time information

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