SEIU members worked hard to pass a new California law, Senate Bill 95, that allows workers to take up to 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if they are unable to work due do COVID-19 related issues, including to care for yourself or a family member or for vaccine-related issues. Below is language from the California Department of Industrial Relations about the new leave benefit.
Covered Employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with more than 25 employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, immediately upon an oral or written request to their employer. If an employee took leave for the reasons below prior to March 29, 2021, the employee should make an oral or written request to the employer for payment.
A covered employee may take leave if the employee is unable to work or telework for any of the following reasons:
Caring for Yourself: The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the California Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer with jurisdiction over the workplace, has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
Caring for a Family Member: The covered employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation period or has been advised by a healthcare provided 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.
Paid Leave for Covered Employees:
- 80 hours for those considered full-time employees.
- For part-time employees with a regular weekly schedule, the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work over two weeks.
- For part-time employees with variable schedules, 14 times the average number of hours worked per day over the past 6 months.
Rate of Pay for COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: Non-exempt employees must be paid the highest of the following for each hour of leave:
- Regular rate of pay for the workweek in which leave is taken
- State minimum wage
- Local minimum wage
- Average hourly pay for preceding 90 days (not including overtime pay)
Exempt employees must be paid the same rate of pay as wages calculated for other paid leave time.
Not to exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in total for 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave.
Retaliation or discrimination against a covered employee requesting or using COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is strictly prohibited. A covered employee who experiences such retaliation or discrimination can file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Locate the office by looking at the list of offices on the state website using the alphabetical listing of cities, locations, and communities or by calling 1-833-526-4636.