California releases New Supplemental Paid COVID-19 Sick Leave

Posted by on 11/9/2020 to California

Governor Gavin Newson signed the Assembly Bill 1867 last September 9, 2020 which intends to fill gaps left by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

The new law basically requires private employers with 500 or more employees in the United States to provide eligible (non-food sector) employees with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid COVID-19 sick leave (“Supplemental COVID-19 Leave”).

Those in the food sector employees will be granted specific supplemental paid leave provided under Executive Order N-51-20, and extends paid leave benefits to health care and emergency responders who were not provided with paid sick leave under the FFCRA.

Who are eligible for the supplemental paid leave?

For those in the non-food or emergency sector employees, AB 1867 adds section 248.1 to the Labor Code (“Section 248.1”), which requires covered employers to provide eligible workers with Supplemental COVID-19 Leave.

They are entitled to leave if they are unable to work due to any of the following reasons:

The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; and/or
The employee is prohibited from working by the employer due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19.

Are both full-time and part-time employees entitled to the supplemental leave?

  • Those who work are classified as “full time” or who worked or were scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week during the two weeks preceding the leave are entitled to up to 80 hours of leave.
  •  Workers who are not considered “full time” or who work fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to leave based on one of three calculation methods.

When is this law effective?

  • The signed Assembly Bill 1867 has taken effect since September 19, 2020.

How much should I expect to receive under the supplemental COVID-19 leave?

Like FFCRA paid leave, Supplemental COVID-19 Leave is capped at $511 per day and/or $5,110 in the aggregate per employee but is still subject to certain conditions.

Supplemental COVID-19 Leave runs concurrently with similar leave provided under local COVID-19 leave ordinances and/or orders, but it is distinct from and in addition to non-COVID-19 sick leave.

What is required from employers under the AB 1867?

  • California employers are required to post Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster in workplaces. If employees work offsite, they should be provided with an electronic copy of the new law.
  • Employers must be responsible for providing their employees with any information regarding employees’ Supplemental COVID-19 Leave balances in the same manner as for non-COVID-19 paid sick leave, in accordance with Labor Code section 246.
  • If you have 500 or more employees, you should make sure to update your employees wage statements.

 Non-compliance of the abovementioned requirements have corresponding penalties.