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A Guide to the Latest, State-Specific COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Laws

As employers grapple with the realities of COVID-19 — and its impact on their day-to-day operations and employee management — it’s important to keep any eye on state-specific COVID-19 leave laws. At the federal level, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers to provide emergency paid leave and other benefits for qualifying absences related to the pandemic. But that’s just one tier. A handful of states and cities have recently introduced brand-new COVID-19 leave laws, or expanded existing laws to cover COVID-related reasons.

In general, these new or modified sick leave laws provide coverage for any of the following reasons during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Employee’s own illness or need to seek medical care or preventive health care
  • Employee must care for a family member who is ill or needs to seek medical care or preventive care
  • Employee must miss work because their child’s school or place of care has been closed due to a public health emergency
  • Employee’s place of work has been closed due to a public health emergency
  • A public health official has deemed that the employee’s (or their family member’s) presence in the community would pose a public health threat

Here is a summary of the latest legislation, per state, county or city, and whether the legislation affects your mandatory workplace postings.

New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Laws

San Jose, CA COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Requires certain employers to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Poster requirement: Yes, revised 4/20

San Francisco, CA Public Health Emergency Leave

Employers with 500 or more employees worldwide must provide up to 80 hours of paid Public Health Emergency Leave to each employee who performs work in San Francisco during the local emergency. Employees may use this leave when they are unable to work (or telework) due to specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Poster requirement: Yes, revised 4/20

Los Angeles, CA COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Employers with 500 or more employees nationally must offer 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave to employees who perform work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles for various COVID-19 related reasons. 

Poster requirement: No

Colorado Emergency Rule Requiring Paid Sick Leave

Temporarily requires employers in certain industries to provide four days of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

Poster requirement: No

New York Paid Sick Leave

Depending on employer size (large, mid- and small), must provide 14 days of paid sick leave for a quarantine or isolation order, five days of paid leave or job-protected, unpaid leave for the duration of the quarantine or isolation order under COVID-19.

Poster requirement: No

Expansion to Existing Paid Sick Leave Laws for COVID-19 Reasons

Typically, paid sick leave laws allow employees to earn paid sick days based on days or hours worked, to be used to recover from illnesses, seek medical care or, in some cases, attend to a sick family member. In the following states, counties and cities, existing paid sick leave laws were temporarily broadened to include COVID-specific coverage:

Arizona Emeryville, CA
California Oakland, CA
Connecticut San Diego, CA
Massachusetts Chicago, IL
Michigan Cook County, IL
Nevada Duluth, MN
New Jersey Minneapolis, MN
Oregon St. Paul, MN
Washington New York City, NY
  Philadelphia, PA
  Seattle, WA
  Washington, D.C.

For more details on these expanded paid leave laws, go here. Be aware, too, that in most cases, these modifications to existing laws will not result in poster changes for employers.

Complete Posting Coverage During COVID-19 Conditions

As more states and cities enact COVID-related paid sick leave provisions, employers need to be mindful of how it impacts their practices, as well as related postings. A poster subscription service like Poster Guard® Compliance Protection can ensure full federal, state and local coverage, no matter how many legislative changes occur in a year. Currently, this service includes the new FFCRA poster for immediate compliance until the law expires the end of 2020.

Something else to consider: A Mandatory Employee Handout Service for access to electronic versions of employee handouts, as required by federal, state and local laws. These handouts must be distributed directly to employees based on triggering events, such as leave requests (which are particularly timely during the COVID-19 emergency).

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