Employees are Still Entitled to Paid COVID-19 Sick Pay

April 26, 2021

While vaccine distribution is ramping up, the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, employers still need to comply with COVID-19-related laws including, but not limited to, giving California employees paid time off for vaccine appointments.

California lawmakers recently extended and expanded a COVID-19 paid-sick-leave law, which applies retroactively to January 1, 2021 and expires on September 30, 2021.  The new law applies to all employers with at least 25 employees – regardless of industry.

Employees are eligible for leave if they are “unable to work or telework” for one of the following reasons:

  • The employee must quarantine or isolate under an order or guidelines from certain state or local authorities or the U.S. CDC.

  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.

  • The employee has an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • The employee is ill after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and cannot work or telework.

  • The employee has COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

  • The employee is caring for a covered family member who needs to quarantine or isolate.

  • The employee is caring for a child whose school or childcare facility is closed or otherwise unavailable for COVID-19-related reasons.

Eligible employees may receive up to 80 hours of leave under the new California law.  Employers cannot require workers to use other paid-leave accruals first, and the time allowed under the COVID-19 supplemental paid-sick-leave law is in addition to accruals under the state's regular paid-sick-leave mandate.  Employers are required to post notice of California’s new expanded COVID-19 paid-sick-leave law in the workplace.

If you are an employee who has not been provided paid time off work for one of the above-listed reasons, contact Freeburg & Granieri, APC today to discuss your rights.

If you are an employer who needs guidance on how to comply with the ever-changing state, federal, and local laws regarding COVID-19, please contact Freeburg & Granieri today to discuss how our attorneys can help your business follow all these laws.

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