EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS
Extensions of COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave
By Jana Bjorklund, GovDocs Senior Counsel and Director, Employment Law and Compliance
Published Feb. 25, 2021
Which COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements have been extended? We examine the jurisdictions where the requirements continue.
Throughout 2020, numerous executive orders and ordinances were enacted requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons to their employee.
From the federal level all the way down to the city level, many of these requirements expired Dec. 31, 2020.
Others, however, have been extended.
Below, we examine the jurisdictions that have opted to continue paid sick leave related to the pandemic, as well as an update on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) ended on Dec. 31, 2020, and was not extended by Congress.
However, an employer’s ability to receive tax credits/refunds under the FFCRA was extended if the employer voluntarily provides paid leave to its employees through March 31, 2021.
Employers should note, though, that the paid leave amounts provided to eligible employees under the FFCRA for paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave are not refreshed in 2021. So, if an employee has already used paid leave time under this law in 2020, then the employer cannot receive federal subsidies for any leave that employee takes in the first quarter of 2021.
COVID-19 Paid Leave Extensions
Still, there have been several jurisdictions that have extended their paid leave laws for COVID-19, or whose laws allow for coverage in 2021. The following is a list of those jurisdictions with COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements that have extended their requirements into 2021.
Colorado’s was extended through Feb. 25, 2021.
Under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, employers are required to provide in 2021 supplemental public health emergency paid sick leave (PHEL) up to a maximum of 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave until four weeks after the public health emergency ends.
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., has extended the expiration of its COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements through March 31, 2021.
Long Beach, Calif.
Long Beach’s COVID-19 paid sick leave expires March 6, 2021, unless further extended.
Los Angeles has extended its COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements until two weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency period.
Los Angeles County, Calif.
This sick leave law applies to the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The sick leave is extended until two weeks after expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency period.
Oakland’s COVID-19 paid sick leave will end after the expiration of the city’s declaration of COVID-19 emergency.
Sacramento’s COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements expire March 31, 2021.
Sacramento County, Calif.
This paid sick leave requirement applies to the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County and expires March 31, 2021.
San Francisco’s was extended through April 12, 2021, unless extended further.
San Jose, Calif.
In San Jose, COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements were extended through June 30, 2021.
San Mateo, Calif.
Likewise, COVID-19 paid sick leave in San Mateo was extended through June 30, 2021.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Santa Rosa opted to extend requirements through March 31, 2021.
In Philadelphia, requirements expire one week after the official termination of the public health emergency declared by either the City of Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania.
Finally, in Pittsburgh, the city’s COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements will remain in effect until the public health emergency ends.
While there may be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the pandemic, paid leave laws will continue to keep employers on their toes.
The one thing we know for sure: this will not be the last of the news on paid sick leave requirements – either COVID-19 related or standard paid sick leave. Plus, with the new Biden administration, we may see the FFCRA reinstated and/or expanded or additional paid sick leave requirements enacted. Activity at the local level is expected to continue as well.
This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.
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