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Beginning March 29, 2021, California employers with more than 25 employees nationally will have to pay their California employees with up to 80 hours of COVID-19–related paid leave. On March 19, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 95, which creates new California Labor Code Sections 248.2 and Section 248.3. As we previously explained, the new legislation covers more employers and requires paid sick leave for many more reasons than did the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the California COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave statute that expired on December 31, 2020.

Among the many reasons for which an employee can take COVID supplemental paid sick leave are (1) attending an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine; (2) being under a government-ordered COVID-19 quarantine or a health care provider instructed self quarantine; and (3) caring for a family member, including parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings who are under a quarantine order or whom a health care provider has advised to self-quarantine.

The leave is retroactive to January 1, 2021, and the statute expires on September 30, 2021.

Our recent article, “California Legislature Sends New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Bill to Governor for Signature,” includes a complete list of reasons for which an employee can take the new leave, how to calculate the amount and pay rate of the leave, compliance suggestions, and other important information about SB 95.

The new California COVID-19 leave law and the leave laws in other jurisdictions, as well as workplace policies and employment practices to comply with and administer a large variety of employee leaves in all 50 states, are provided in the OD Comply: State Leave Laws subscription materials, which are updated and provided to OD Comply subscribers as the law changes.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available.  For more information on California’s new leave law, please join us for our upcoming webinar, “California’s Brand New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law,” which will take place on Friday, March 26, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Pacific. The speakers, Charles L. Thompson, IV, Leslie E. Wallis, and Jennifer P. Suberlakwill cover the new law’s requirements and its impact on other types of leave, including regular paid sick leave, vacation, paid time off (PTO), and exclusion leave and pay obligations under the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. Register here. Important information for employers is also available via podcast programs.

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