California COVID-19 sick leave law could expand protections for millions of workers

March 20, 2021

SB95, sponsored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, passed the Senate 29-8 Thursday and required employers with more than 25 workers to create a separate pool of sick days for workers, retroactive to the beginning of the year.

Companies will receive payroll tax breaks for providing two weeks of paid sick leave, although those may not cover some time taken since January.

The law significantly expands the companies that would be required to provide the leave. A state law passed last year that expired in December required companies with more than 500 employees in the U.S. to provide the leave. Companies with more than 500 employees who provided that leave last year will be required to do so again. The law takes effect 10 days after it was signed.

“SB95 provides COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to more than 10.4 million California workers through Sept. 30 of this year.” Skinner said in an emailed statement.

“This is great news as it enables Californians who have COVID-19 or have to quarantine because of exposure to take time off rather than working and infecting others. And employers will have their costs covered by the federally allowed payroll tax cut that credits sick leave payments. SB95 will save lives, and help us limit the spread of this deadly disease,” Skinner said.


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