Latest Laws Answer Questions That Helps Remain Compliant
1. Effective 3-19-21 – New Law: Extends COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave – Affects Employers With 25+ Employees
On 3-19-21, CA Governor Newsom signed SB 95, to extend paid benefits for COVID-related leave. This law applies to employers with 25 or more employees:
- Extends the 80 hours of paid sick leave (expired 12-31-20) creates new categories for paid leave. New law provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for new claims through September 30, 2021, and also for any claims dating back to January 1, 2020.
- Paid COVID Sick Leave can be used for quarantine due to COVID; to attend appointments for COVID vaccines; for symptoms related to COVID vaccines; for medical diagnosis of COVID symptoms; to care for family members with COVID; to care for children unable to attend school. (see Request for Leave under SB95/FFCRA-PDF)
- The Labor Commissioner will enforce these requirements and make available a model notice regarding the COVID supplemental paid sick leave.
- Employees can request oral or written paid leave (including retroactive to any time lost for qualifying conditions back to 1-1-21). Suggest using the attached form so you can verify the claim and comply.
- Because of the recent Biden COVID laws, you can qualify for reimbursement of any of these leave payments from taxes for payroll. Such action under Federal law is voluntary, but using such law saves you costs.
2. Due March 31st – Pay Reporting
As a reminder, the DFEH requires employers with 100 or more employees to report pay and hours-worked by establishment, job category, sex, race, and ethnicity. The filing deadline is set for March 31, 2021.
The DFEH updated their prior advice that submitting an EEO-1 report would be sufficient because EEOC is not currently collecting payment information. The updated FAQ indicates that employers must use DFEH’s template or the ‘fillable’ form on DFEH’s portal to create and submit reports. If you do not have the information to complete the form, IF you apply for an extension on or before March 31, you can qualify for an extension until April 30, 2021.
3. Effective 1/1/21 – California Family Rights Act Expansion Applies to Employers With 5+ Employees:
- Include all employers with five or more employees
- Provide 12 weeks, unpaid, job protected leave, and in some cases could be longer under some circumstances with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
- Added relatives to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, child, parent, spouse needing care or own serious health condition as basis for leave
- To qualify for this CA Family Rights Leave, employees must have been working for the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours prior to any leave
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