On March 19th, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95, a new measure that extends and expands the requirement for employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19.
The previous food sector worker Executive Order and the subsequent statewide legislation (AB 1867), that expired on December 31, 2020, applied to hiring entities that have 500 or more employees nationwide. This new requirement applies to ALL public and private employers with 26 or more employees. Outlined below are provisions included in this new law:
Any employee who works for a covered employer is entitled to COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if the employee cannot work or telework due to a COVID-19 related reason.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave:
- Caring for Yourself: The covered employee is subject to quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19, has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Caring for a Family Member: The covered employee is caring for a family member subject to a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation period or has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine due to COVID-19, or 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.
Amount of Paid Leave:
- Those considered full-time employees should receive 80 hours of paid leave.
- For part-time employees with a normal weekly schedule, the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work over two weeks is the amount of paid leave they are eligible for.
- To calculate the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave total for part-time employees with variable schedules, find the average number of hours worked per day over the past 6 months (or if the employee has worked less than 6 months, for the entire time they have been employed) and multiply that average by 14.
Wage Payment Amount:
- Exempt employees should be paid at the same rate as other forms of paid leave.
- Non-exempt employees should be paid at the HIGHEST of the following for each hour of leave:
- The employee’s regular rate of pay for the pay period in which the leave is taken
- A rate based on the employee’s average regular pay over the previous 90 days
- The State minimum wage
- The local minimum wage
Note: The maximum amount an employer is required to pay more than $511 per day and $5,110 in total to a covered employee specifically for COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. However, an employee may utilize other types of paid leave after the employee reaches the maximum amount.
COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave must be set forth as a separate line item on either the employee’s itemized wage statement, or the separate writing provided to the employee.
Covered employers must display the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave poster through September 30, 2021.
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