Temporary Sick Leave Options for COVID-19

On December 31, 2020, the Families Federal Coronaivirus Response Act (FFCRA), the State of California FFCRA companion bill, and the City of Santa Rosa companion ordinance will expire. FFCRA and the local and State companion laws authorize employers to provide 80 hours (pro rate for part-time employees) of paid sick leave for contracting COVID-19, taking care of a family member or dependent who had COVID-19, as well as caring for children whose school was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. 

The new COVID-19 stimulus package, passed by Congress in December of 2020, offers paid sick leave; however, businesses can opt in to receive a tax credit for offering paid sick leave for COVID-19 through March 31, 2021. 

Cal/OSHA Regulations on Paid Leave for COVID-19 

Current Cal/OSHA (California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) regulations require employers to offer paid leave—sick or otherwise—to any employee who has COVID-19 or was in close contact with someone who has or had COVID-19 during performance of the employee's job. These Cal/OSHA regulations, which apply to all California employers, provide that an employer can choose to pay their employee their regular salary or require an employee to use accrued sick leave. 

Unlike paid sick leave under FFCRA, which was capped at 80 hours, there is no cap on the use of this paid sick leave under these California regulations; however, if the employee can work from home, they may not be entitled to using leave and should review rules and guidance by visiting the resource links below.