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Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 95, marking the return of the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in California. The bill is effective immediately but offers a grace period of 10 days for employers to comply. The expanded rules will apply retroactively to January 10, 2021, and remain in effect up to September 30, 2021. 

Which Employees are Covered Under the Expanded Law?

All employees who can’t work or telework due to the reasons included in the expanded law are eligible for paid leave. There’s also no set requirement for the length of employment for an employee to be entitled to paid leave. 

Approved Reasons for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid leave when they: 

  • Are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19-related reasons
  • Have been instructed by a healthcare professional to self-quarantine because of COVID-19-related concerns
  • Are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and waiting for an official diagnosis
  • Need to attend an appointment to get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Are experiencing significant symptoms due to a COVID-19 vaccine, and their symptoms are preventing them from working
  • Are taking care of family member who has been instructed to self-quarantine or subject to isolation or quarantine
  • Are taking care of a child whose place of care or school is closed or not available for COVID-19-related reasons

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Pay Rates 

Full-time employees are eligible for 80 hours of paid sick leave. For employees who are not classified as full-time, their length of employment and specific work schedule will be used for calculating how much paid leave they’re entitled to, such that:

  • For part-time employees who have variable work schedules, the calculation is 14 times the usual number of work hours each day for the last six months.
  • For part-time employees who have regular weekly work schedules, the calculation involves the number of work hours that they are scheduled to work for two weeks. 

Non-exempt employees should be compensated the highest amount of the following for every hour of paid sick leave:  

  • Local minimum wage
  • State minimum wage
  • Regular pay rate for the week in which the employee took the paid leave
  • Average hourly rate for the last 90 days, excluding overtime pay  

Exempt employees should be paid the same pay rate as wages that have been calculated for other paid sick leave time. The daily pay rate for paid sick leave can’t exceed $511 and is capped at $5,110 in total. 

Based on specific COVID-19 employer policies or local COVID-19 paid sick leave ordinances, employers that provided paid sick leave starting January 1, 2021, or after may count those hours towards satisfying the requirements of the expanded paid sick leave rules. 

The Notice Requirement

All employers are required under law to notify their employees of the expanded COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law. In addition, they are required to provide employees, excluding home healthcare providers, written notices of their available leave balances. 

Still Have Questions? Talk to a Mountain View Employment Attorney Now

Get in touch with a California Employment Lawyer here at Kalia Law, PC, by contacting us online or calling us at 650-701-7617. 

- Claire Kalia


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