Employers Are Required to Provide an Additional Two Weeks of Paid Sick Leave Under SB 95

Posted: April 1, 2021 | News

Senate Bill 95 (SB 95) went into effect this week, requiring most employers to provide two additional weeks of 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19-related reasons. This requirement is separate from, and in addition to, California’s Paid Sick Leave Law, as well as the 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). SB 95 provides employees with a new, additional entitlement of up to 80 hours of 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave even if they already received paid sick leave due to COVID-19 under the FFCRA.

SB 95 requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide two weeks of 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if the employee is unable to work or telework because the employee:

  • Is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Is caring for a family member who is subject to quarantine or isolation or the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed; or
  • Is attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work or telework due to vaccine-related symptoms.

Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. Part-time employees with variable schedules may take 14 times the average number of hours the employee worked each day for the employer in the six months before the date the employee took 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. If the part-time employee has worked for the employer for less than six months, the calculation is done over the entire period that the employee has worked for the employer.

SB 95 is retroactive dating back to January 1, 2021. This means employees who took qualifying leave between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021 can request payment for that leave if it was not paid by the employer as required by this law. 
Employers also must separately disclose on each employee’s pay stub (or a separate document) how many 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave hours are available to the employee. This information should be stated as a line item on the pay stub that is separate from, and in addition to, the accrual and use of paid sick leave under California’s Paid Sick Leave Law.

The obligation to provide this 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave expires on September 30, 2021. However, if an employee has already begun 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave before September 30, 2021, the employee must be allowed to complete the leave.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has released FAQs for employers seeking guidance on how to comply with the new 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave requirements, which can be accessed here. If you have any questions or concerns about ensuring that your company is in compliance with SB 95, the attorneys at Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP are available to provide guidance.

This blog is not meant to provide specific legal advice. For advice specific to your business, please contact any of the employment attorneys in our Employment Practices Group who are ready to assist you.