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Employment Law Update: 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law

Employment Law Update: 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law

SB 95 applies to all employers, public or private, with more than 25 employees are covered, including those with collective bargaining agreements. Covered employees are those who cannot work or telework due to the reasons listed below.

Under the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law, covered employees are entitled to paid sick leave that is in addition to leave that was provided under previous laws which expired on December 31, 2020.

Both the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) emergency paid sick leave and the 2020 California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave laws expired on December 31, 2020. The new 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law allows covered employees to take up to an additional 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave.

The covered employee must be unable to work or telework due to any one of the following reasons:

  • Caring for Yourself:  The covered employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 (see note below), or has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine due to COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Caring for a Family Member: The covered employee is caring for a family member who is either subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 (see note below) or has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine due to COVID-19, or the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 on the premises.
  • Vaccine-Related: The covered employee is attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work or telework due to vaccine-related symptoms.

This sick leave will cover employees from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 (the expiration date of this 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.)  Beginning on March 29, the requirement to provide 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is retroactive to January 1, 2021, which means that covered employees who took qualifying leave between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021, can request payment for that leave if it was not paid by the employer in the amount that is required under this law.

It is likely employers will have many questions about this new 2021 COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law; please reach out to your local RTGR office if you have any questions.

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