Insights: Alerts California Reinstates Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Please note: The below information may require updating, including additional clarification, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop. Please monitor our main COVID-19 Resource Center and/or your email for updates.

 On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 95, reinstituting the state’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

Covered employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with more than 25 employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave, retroactively from January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021. This paid sick leave is available to employees who are unable to work or telework due to any of the following:

  • Caring for Yourself: The covered employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19, 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 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.

Employers must start making mandated payments under this law on March 29, 2021. This means that covered employees that 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. For current requests, the paid sick leave must be made available immediately upon the oral or written request of the employee. Retroactive requests for the paid sick leave must be paid out on the next regularly scheduled payday after March 29, 2021. Notably, this paid sick leave is not conditioned on medical certification—an employer may not require medical documentation before providing the paid sick leave. 

Under the law, employers are also required to display a poster, which can be found here. If an employer’s covered employees do not frequent the workplace, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by disseminating the notice through electronic means. The Labor Commissioner’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs can be found here

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