Last Friday, Gavin Newsom signed SB 95, a bill that guarantees up to 80 hours of supplemental sick leave for employees affected by COVID-19. This includes workers required to quarantine and those needing to care for family members with COVID.
The protections will last through September 30 of this year and are retroactive to sick time beginning January 1 of this year. While businesses with 25 or fewer workers are exempt from the new law, they may receive a federal tax credit for offering supplemental paid sick leave.
This bill expands the types of employees entitled to supplemental paid sick leave by covering some of those who had been covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired at the end of 2020. With the expiration of that legislation, the only employees with expanded sick leave protections were those covered by local jurisdictions that had extended their ordinances. SB 95 covers employees across California who work for larger employers and are unable to work due to COVID-19 and picks up where FFCRA left off.
In addition to expanding worker eligibility, the bill expands the reasons employees can take time off work. For example, COVID-19 leave did not previously apply to time employees spent getting vaccinated or recovering from side effects of receiving the vaccine. Under SB 95, covered employees can now use the supplemental leave for these purposes.
If you believe you have been denied sick leave, contact Teukolsky Law today for a free consultation.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.