States and Cities Mandate Paid Sick Leave as Pandemic Continues

home sick

As many businesses prepare to reopen, employers should be aware of state and local paid-sick-leave mandates related to the coronavirus pandemic.

California, Colorado and New York, for example, have specific requirements for coronavirus-related paid sick leave and allowable uses. Some cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, are also adding emergency protections for sick or quarantined workers. New Jersey, Seattle and other locations have issued guidelines on how existing paid leave rules apply to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

"No one should have to make the impossible choice between losing their job or providing for their family and going to work, especially during this pandemic," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in support of the Empire State's leave law.

Employers should check the rules for the states and cities in which they operate to see if specific paid-sick-leave mandates apply to their workforce. They should also note that local laws are evolving in response to the pandemic and may be updated.

[Looking for state-specific information? See State & Local Updates]

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other trusted media outlets on this topic.

SHRM Resource Spotlight
Coronavirus and COVID-19

Patchwork of California Laws

State and local officials in California have enacted several paid-leave laws during the last few months, which makes it difficult for employers to manage COVID-19 compliance. In addition to a statewide mandate, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose have enacted emergency paid leave laws.

(Littler Mendelson)

Federal Emergency Leave Mandate

On the federal level, lawmakers passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires many businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid-sick-leave benefits if employees need leave to comply with a self-quarantine order or care for their own or someone else's coronavirus-related issues. The act also provides emergency paid family leave for parents who can't work because their children's schools or child care services are closed due to the pandemic. The FFCRA's paid-leave provisions took effect April 1 and expire on Dec. 31.

(SHRM Online)

Sick-Leave Practices to Avoid During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Government officials are urging sick workers to stay home and employers to have flexible leave policies during the coronavirus pandemic. Don't let business pressures and reliance on past practices lead you to make bad decisions about attendance and leave policies during the public health emergency. Here are four mistakes employment law attorneys said businesses should avoid.

(SHRM Online)

Bringing Them Back: Questions for HR from Returning Workers

As employees begin to return to their workplaces after weeks under COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, they will have questions. After all, the world changed suddenly because of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and so have employees' expectations and fears. Be prepared by considering these six things employment attorneys and human resource experts say workers will want to know right from the start.

(SHRM Online)



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