On September 9, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Meeting Invoice 1867, requiring massive employers to offer COVID-19 associated supplemental paid sick go away to their California staff. The invoice, codified at Labor Code § 248.1, applies to employers with greater than 500 staff nationwide on the time the declare for go away is submitted. Prior iterations of supplemental paid go away legal guidelines handed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic had exempted massive employers, however that exemption has now been closed, at the very least with respect to the worker’s personal COVID-19-related absences. The brand new regulation basically extends the identical or comparable advantages to staff with respect to the worker’s personal COVID-19-related absences that the federal authorities mandated for smaller employers when it handed the Households First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in March, and that the state of California mandated for meals sector staff earlier this yr. The brand new regulation will stay in impact till December 31, 2020, (the day the FFCRA is about to run out) or any extension of the FFCRA, whichever is later.
The brand new regulation requires that, starting no later than September 19, 2020, coated employers present as much as 80 hours of paid sick go away to staff who’re unable to work and have to take go away for the next causes:
The worker is topic to a federal, state, or native quarantine or isolation order associated to COVID-19;
The worker is suggested by a well being care supplier to self-quarantine or self-isolate as a result of issues associated to COVID-19; or
The worker is prohibited from working as a result of well being issues associated to the transmission of COVID-19.
Workers eligible for sick go away beneath this regulation are entitled to the very best of: 1) the worker’s common charge of pay for the final pay interval, 2) the state minimal wage, or 3) the native minimal wage to which the worker is entitled. Much like the FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Depart provisions, these quantities are capped at a most of $511 per day and $5,110 within the mixture. Nonetheless, in contrast to the FFCRA, employers won’t be reimbursed by tax credit for funds made beneath AB 1867.
Workers who work a part-time schedule are additionally eligible for paid sick go away. The quantity of go away is dependent upon the size of tenure of the part-time worker. Half-time staff who’ve been employed for greater than six months are entitled to as much as 14 occasions the common variety of hours they’ve labored every day for the employer within the previous six months. Half-time staff who’ve been employed greater than 14 days however lower than six months are entitled to as much as 14 occasions the common variety of hours the worker has labored within the worker’s tenure. Lastly, part-time staff with 14 days or fewer of tenure are entitled to go away equal to the identical variety of hours the worker has truly labored for the employer.
In contrast to the FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Depart provisions, the brand new regulation doesn’t seem to increase paid sick go away advantages to staff who should look after a person who has been ordered or suggested to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 or to staff who’re caring for his or her baby whose faculty or baby care facility is closed or whose baby care supplier is unavailable as a result of a COVID-19 public well being emergency. Nonetheless, an worker who is suggested to self-isolate as a result of potential publicity to COVID-19 because it pertains to a member of the family or an individual for whom the worker is offering care as a result of COVID-19, can be entitled to paid sick go away advantages beneath Labor Code § 248.1.
Paid sick go away offered pursuant to the California Wholesome Workplaces, Wholesome Households Act (“Wholesome Workplaces Act”) and/or regular native paid sick go away legal guidelines will not be counted towards an employer’s obligation to offer supplemental COVID-19 associated paid go away pursuant to the brand new regulation. Employers, nevertheless, which can be already required to offer supplemental COVID-19-related paid sick go away pursuant to the state’s meals sector mandate or any relevant native ordinances needn’t present duplicative advantages to staff. If the paid go away offered pursuant to a neighborhood supplemental order leads to the worker receiving a smaller profit than the worker would obtain beneath Labor Code § 248.1, the employer should make up the distinction between the native regulation and the quantity the employer would owe beneath the brand new regulation. Additional, the regulation prohibits employers from requiring an worker to make use of every other paid (or unpaid) go away, paid break day, or trip time obtainable beneath the employer’s insurance policies earlier than or in lieu of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick go away.
The brand new regulation incorporates sure provisions of the present Wholesome Workplaces Act, together with its pay stub requirement (Labor Code 246(i)) and signifies that the pay stub requirement is efficient on the primary full pay interval following enactment of the brand new regulation on September 9, 2020.
The labor commissioner can be issuing a brand new sick go away regulation poster obtainable for employers to put up within the office by Wednesday, September 16, 2020. Given the continuing pandemic, the regulation offers that if coated staff don’t frequent the office as a result of teleworking or different circumstances, employers could meet their “posting” necessities by disseminating the brand new go away regulation poster by digital means, resembling e-mail.
AB 1867 is yet one more installment within the rising variety of new legal guidelines which were handed on the federal, state, and native ranges in response to the pandemic. To make sure compliance, employers ought to seek the advice of with authorized counsel in deciphering and implementing these new necessities.