California's new paid sick leave law re COVID-19
 
 
 
 
 
 
Protecting Employee & Consumer Rights

California’s new paid sick leave law re COVID-19

Last year, private employers with 500 or more employees were required to provide California employees with paid sick time for COVID-19-related absences. That law, AB 1867, aimed to close the gaps left open by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) by expanding coverage to healthcare providers or emergency responders and food sector workers. AB 1867, however, expired on December 31, 2020.

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The welcome news is that California recently enacted a new supplemental paid sick leave law that protects more workers and their families from COVID-19. Now, the benefits apply to those who work for employers with 25 or more employees. Covered employees are entitled to COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to any of the following reasons:

1) The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 by an order or guidelines of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer.

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2) The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

3) The employee is attending an appointment to receive a vaccine for protection against contracting COVID-19.

4) The employee is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework.

5) The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

6) The employee is caring for a family member who has been ordered to quarantine or who has been advised to self-quarantine.

7) The employee is caring for a child, whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

This new law also provides for COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for specified in-home supportive service providers and personal waiver care service providers, who are unable to work or telework due to certain reasons related to COVID-19.

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A covered employee is entitled to 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave if that employee either 1) works full time or 2) was scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the 2 weeks preceding the date the covered employee took COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. (Firefighters and employees working fewer or variable hours are subject to a different calculation for supplemental paid sick leave.)

This supplemental paid sick leave is in addition to any paid sick leave available under California law.

A covered employee may determine how many hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to use, up to the total number of hours to which the covered employee is entitled under the new law. The employer shall make COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave available for immediate use upon the employee’s oral or written request to the employer.

This new law takes effect on March 29, 2021 and its provisions would apply retroactively to January 1, 2021 and shall remain in effect through September 30, 2021.

The Law Offices of C. Joe Sayas, Jr. welcomes inquiries about this topic. All inquiries are confidential and at no-cost. You can contact the office at (818) 291-0088 or visit www.joesayaslaw.com. [For more than 25 years, C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. successfully recovered wages and other monetary damages for thousands of employees and consumers. He was named Top Labor & Employment Attorney in California by the Daily Journal, consistently selected as Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine, and is a past Presidential Awardee for Outstanding Filipino Overseas.]

 

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TAGS: California law, COVID-19, paid sick leave
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