COVID Paid Sick Leave (PSL) in California is a mechanism by which employers may provide paid sick leave to their workers. California employers with more than 25 employees must provide up to 80 new hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL). This law applies retroactively to January 1, 2021.
As the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was extended to September 30, 2021, it has remained a way for employees to counteract the financial costs of the pandemic. Employers must fund this benefit without state assistance. However, California law does not prohibit an employer from using the FFCRA as a method of offsetting the costs of PSL.
The FFCRA has also expanded the reasons employees may take Paid Sick Leave. Because these provisions went into effect as of April 1, 2021, employees who have already taken FFCRA paid sick leave have renewed banks of time as of April 1, 2021. Thus, the employee has a new bank of 80 hours of qualifying paid sick leave.
The FFCRA has expanded the reasons that employees may take PSL. They are as follows:
- The employee is receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
- The employee is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test when the employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or the employer has requested the test.
Anyone defined as a “covered employee” is entitled to take SPSL in 2021. A “covered employee” is any employee “who [is] unable to work or telework” for a covered employer for any of the reasons listed in the new law. Family members include the employee’s spouse, registered domestic partner, parent (including parents-in-law), child, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
Covered employees may take 2021 SPSL if unable to work or telework, and providers may take 2021 SPSL if unable to work due to any of the following reasons:
- The covered employee or provider is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19.
- A health care provider has advised the covered employee or provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19–related concerns.
- The covered employee or provider is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- The covered employee or provider is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevents the employee from working or teleworking.
- The covered employee or provider is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The covered employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- The covered employee or provider is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 found on the premises.
Moss Bollinger has extensive experience protecting and asserting the rights of California employees. We make unscrupulous employers pay the legal consequences of brazenly violating California labor and employment laws. To determine whether your employer has violated California law, call (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or contact us online.