A Worker May Be Sick or Exposed to COVID-19 What are paid sick leave options for workers?

Employers in the public or private sectors with more than 25 employees, including those with collective bargaining agreements, are required to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, immediately upon an oral or written request from their employee.

A covered worker may take leave if the worker is unable to work or telework for any of the following reasons:

  • Caring for self: The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the California Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer with jurisdiction over the workplace, has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Caring for a Family Member: The covered employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation period or has been advised by a healthcare provided to quarantine due to COVID-19 , or is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 on the premises.
  • Vaccine-Related: The covered employee is attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work or telework due to vaccine-related symptoms.

Rate of Pay for COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave:

  • Non-exempt employees must be paid the highest of the following for each hour of leave:
    • Regular rate of pay for the workweek in which leave is taken
    • State minimum wage
    • Local minimum wage
    • Average hourly pay for preceding 90 days (not including overtime pay)
  • Exempt employees must be paid the same rate of pay as wages calculated for other paid leave time
  • Not to exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in total for 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave

Workers may be entitled to 80 hours if they work full-time. For part-time workers, see our FAQs for information on calculating the correct amount of leave.

Under California's regular paid sick leave law: Employees working for you in California for at least 30 days in a year are probably covered, whether they are a full-time, part-time, or temporary employee.

California's regular paid sick leave law gives employees sick time that can be used to:

  • Recover from physical/mental illness or injury;
  • To seek medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care;
  • To care for a family member who is ill or needs medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care.
  • Self-isolate as a result of potential exposure to COVID-19.

Employees can earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. An employer must allow an employee to take at least 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year, whichever is more.

If employees are denied paid sick leave, they can report the violation to the Labor Commissioner's Office. Employers may be subject to fines and penalties if employees file a claim or if the Labor Commissioner opens an investigation to look into workers who were denied paid sick leave.

Side by side Comparison of Leave Chart

March 2021