On March 19, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 95 into law, once again requiring employers to provide California employees with paid sick leave in connection with COVID-19. Under SB 95, employees may be entitled to up to 80 hours of this supplemental paid sick leave. The new law, codified at Labor Code § 248.2, is similar to the 2020 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave laws for food sector and non-food sector workers, but it significantly expands benefits to employees, and will impact hundreds, if not thousands, more employers than last year’s laws.

This GT Alert provides a summary of SB 95, the new COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law, taking into account the recently-issued “2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs” issued by the DLSE (FAQs).

When and for how long is the law effective? The law goes into effect immediately and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021 (as explained in further detail below), but it provides a grace period until March 29 – in other words, employers do not need to begin providing COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave until after March 29. The law expires on Sept. 30 (but paid leave may extend into early October 2021 as long as the employee starts leave on or before Sept. 30).

Which employers are covered? The new law applies to employers (other than in-home supportive services providers, who are instead subject to Labor Code § 248.3[1]) with more than 25 employees, but it does not specify whether all of those employees must be based in California.

Read the full GT Alert, “Statewide COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Returns to California