The Law Office of Richard Vaznaugh

Expertise in Workplace Rights for California Workers

The Law Office of Richard Vaznaugh
505 Sansome Street
Suite 850
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 593-0076
Fax: (415) 653-8935

Federal and State Paid Leave for COVID-19

We know many people have questions about federal and state law regarding COVID-19 and paid leave. These FAQs provide guidance on both areas.   


Is the FFCRA still in effect?

No. The provisions in the FFCRA ended December 31, 2021. 

Do employees covered under the Healthcare ETS receive paid leave to get vaccinated?

 Yes. The employer must support COVID-19 vaccination for each employee by providing reasonable time and paid leave (e.g., paid sick leave, administrative leave) to each employee for vaccination and any side effects experienced following vaccination.

Reasonable time may include, but is not limited to, time spent during work hours related to the vaccination appointment(s), such as registering, completing required paperwork, all time spent at the vaccination site (e.g., receiving the vaccination dose, post-vaccination monitoring by vaccine provider), and time spent traveling to and from the location for vaccination (including travel to an off-site location (e.g., a pharmacy), or situations in which an employee working remotely (e.g., telework) or in an alternate location must travel to the workplace to receive the vaccine). See the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS FAQs for more information. 

Do Federal employees get paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes. Agencies must grant employees with at least four hours of administrative leave so that they can receive a vaccine dose. In the case of an employee who receives three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, as is currently recommended for immunocompromised individuals, he or she would receive a total of 12 hours of leave just for the purposes of getting the vaccine. See the Safer Federal Workforce website for more information.

Do Federal employees get paid leave for COVID-19 vaccine boosters?

Yes.  All adults who completed a primary vaccination series with an mRNA vaccine at least six months ago and those who received a Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago are eligible for a booster. See the White House statement for more information.

Which states have paid leave for COVID-19?

Arizona. In Arizona employees may take paid sick leave due to COVID-19 if they fall within one of the following categories:

  • An employee or a family member contracts COVID-19
  • An employee or family member needs to get tested for COVID-19
  • An employee or family member needs to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 (a healthcare provider or public health official must determine that the quarantine is necessary)
  • If the employee’s place of business has been closed by a public official due to COVID-19
  • If the employee needs to take care of a child whose school has closed due to COVID-19

For employers with 15 or more employees, employees are entitled to accrue one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but employees are not entitled to accrue or use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year, unless the employer selects a higher limit.

There is no expiration date for the law.

California. Covered employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with 26 or more employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of 2022 COVID-19 related paid sick leave from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, immediately upon an oral or written request to their employer, with up to 40 of those hours available only when an employee or family member tests positive for COVID-19.

  • “Covered employee” means an employee who is unable to work or telework for an employer because of a reason listed under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).
  • “Employer” means an employer, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 245.5 of the California Labor Code, that employs more than 25 employees.

See the bill for more information.

Long Beach, CA. Long Beach requires all private employers that have more than 500 employees nationwide to provide their employees with paid sick leave for absences due to COVID-19. Every 90-day, the City Manager will report back to the City Council and Mayor on the effectiveness of the provisions of this Chapter and whether the provisions of this Chapter are still necessary based on the City’s recovery from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council will determine the sunset date of the paid leave requirements based on the 90-day reports. The paid leave requirements are still in effect. The deadline for the paid leave benefits will be determined by the City Council. The paid leave requirements are still in effect.

Los Angeles, CA. The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance requiring employers with employees working in the city to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) to those employed from Feb. 3 through March 4, 2020; this time period has been extended because the COVID-19 Local Emergency Order is still in effect.

Mayor Garcetti revised his Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 (SPSL) Order and issued a new order, Vaccine Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 (CVL). This revised order requires employers with more than 500 employees in California or 2,000 employees in the U.S. to allow their employees to use SPSL to take time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and it allows employers to require proof of vaccination from their employees. The new order requires all employers to provide employees with CVL time off in addition to other paid leave.[1] The CVL is retroactive to January 1, 2021 and will last “until two weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency as ratified and declared by the Board.

Los Angeles County, CA. Employers with employees in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County must provide employees with paid leave to receive and recover from the COVID-19 vaccine. All employers with employees in the county must provide Supplemental Paid Sick Leave until two weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 emergency. Full-time  employees  who have exhausted all available leave time under Labor Code  Section  248.2 are entitled to use up to four  hours of  additional paid leave per injection to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Part-time employees who have exhausted all available leave time under Labor Code Section 248.2 are entitled to additional paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the following rate: the prorated amount or four hours per injection based on their normally scheduled work hours over the two-week period preceding the injection.

The expiration date for the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is two-weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 emergency, which is still in effect.

Oakland, CA. The City of Oakland enacted an emergency ordinance on January 19, 2021 extending and revising its emergency paid sick leave ordinance, which retroactively applies from December 31, 2020.  The ordinance provides all full-time employees with 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (part-time employees receive a pro-rata amount). The sunset date of this emergency ordinance depends on expiration of Oakland’s March 9, 2020 Declaration of COVID-19 Emergency, which has not expired.

San Francisco, CA. San Francisco offers up to 80 hours of paid leave for COVID -19 for city employees for COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 workplace exposure, COVID-19 quarantine, school or childcare closure, and caring for a qualified individual.

  • “Employee” means any person who qualifies as an employee entitled to payment of a minimum wage under the California Labor Code, including California Labor Code section 2750.3, and wage orders published by the California Industrial Welfare Commission provided that the person has performed work for remuneration for an Employer for at least two (2) hours after February 3, 2020 within the geographic boundaries of the City. “
  • Employer” means any person, association, organization, partnership, business trust, limited liability company, or corporation who directly or indirectly through any other person or entity, Employs an Employee.

This requirement is still in effect.

Colorado. Employers must provide employees with up to two weeks of paid leave (80 hours if full-time, less if part-time) for COVID-related needs. The current 80-hour requirement took effect on January 1, 2021, and remains in effect. PHE leave is usable for a range of COVID-related needs, not just for confirmed cases. COVID-related needs include:

  • Illness with COVID symptoms
  • Quarantining or isolating due to COVID exposure
  • COVID testing
  • Vaccination and side effects
  • Inability to work due to health conditions that may increase susceptibility or risk of COVID
  • COVID-related needs of family (illness, school closure, etc.)

See the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website for more information.

District of Columbia. Employees who have worked for 30 days for an employer with 20 or more employees in the District may use up to 16 weeks of New COVID-19 Leave for one of the following reasons:

  • Positive Test Result – if the employee tested positive for COVID-19 or is caring for a family member or individual with whom the employee shares a household who has tested positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine pursuant to Department of Health guidelines
  • Isolation or Quarantine – if the employee has a recommendation from a health care provider or a directive from an employer that the employee isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, including because the employee or an individual with whom the employee shares a household is at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19
  • Care for Other – if the employee must care for a family member or an individual with whom the employee shares a household, who is isolating or quarantining pursuant to Department of Health guidance, the recommendation of a health care provider, or the order or policy of the family member’s or individual’s school or childcare provider
  • Childcare Closure – if the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose childare provider is unavailable to the employee due to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 leave is unpaid, but employees may use accrued paid leave. There is no expiration date on the law. See the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights website for more information.

Illinois

Cook County, IL. If an employer in Cook County requires that their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine, they must provide them with up to four hours of paid leave per dose to receive it. Employees who work for employers who do not require the vaccine may use paid sick leave or paid time off to get vaccinated.[1] This requirement is still in effect.

MassachusettsFrequently asked questions about COVID-19 (Office of the Attorney General)

  • FAQs from the Massachusetts attorney general clarify employee rights and employer obligations under the state’s existing paid sick leave law in the context of COVID-19. Massachusetts employers are required to provide up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick time each year for employees to use — to take care of themselves or family members, or for a required or recommended quarantine. Current law does not cover instances of school, child care, or work closures due to a public health emergency. Nevertheless, employers are encouraged to allow liberal use of earned sick time — and vacation or paid time off — during the pandemic in order to support full compliance with the recommendations of health professionals. 
  • The DOI has released Filing Guidance 2020 – A: Paid Family and Medical Leave. Under the guidance, insurance carriers who offer private plans must submit the plans to the DOI for review before June 3, 2020. Once approved, the carriers will receive an approved policy form number.
  • Under the Act Providing for Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave, effective May 28 2021 and through April 1, 2022 (or when the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund is exhausted), employers must offer 40 hours of leave for employees who regularly work at least 40 hours. For part-time employees, the leave amount is based on the average number of hours the employee work.  Employers will be reimbursed from the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund.

    The law expires on April 1, 2022 or when the $75 M in program funds is exhausted as determined by the Commonwealth, whichever is earlier.

MichiganExecutive Order No. 2020-36 (Office of the Governor, April 3, 2020)

  • Michigan’s Executive Order No. 2020-36 requires individuals who have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or displays one or more of the principal symptoms of COVID-19 to remain home. Employees must be permitted to use any accrued time under the state’s paid sick leave mandate. The order prohibits discharge, discipline, or other retaliation against employees who are staying home due to illness, whose close contacts are sick, or who are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19. The Executive Order is in effect until the end of the declared states of emergency and disaster.
  • Michigan’s Paid Sick Leave law gives employees four hours of medical leave, which includes COVID-19,  for every 35 hours worked. Employees can take paid and/or unpaid medical leave with protection from losing your job or being disciplined. The law applies to employers with 50+ employees. See Michigan’s Benefits During COVID Guide for more information.
  • There is no expiration date for the law.

MinnesotaWorker protections related to COVID-19 (Department of Labor and Industry, March 19, 2020)

  • Employers with employees in DuluthMinneapolis or St. Paul are required to provide paid sick leave that can be accrued over time or frontloaded at the start of the year. Specifics differ for each ordinance. The cities of Duluth and Minneapolis have provided new FAQs for employers to clarify how these ordinances apply to COVID-19 related absences.


Duluth, MN
Earned Sick and Safe Time and COVID-19 FAQs (City of Duluth, MN)

  • Duluth FAQs. Employees in Duluth can use accrued paid sick time for coronavirus screening, treatment or care for symptoms or infection, and for testing or quarantine following close personal contact with an infected or symptomatic person. Sick leave can be used by the employee for self-care or to care for a covered family member. The ordinance doesn’t cover use of paid sick time if a family member’s school or place of child care is closed, or if the employee’s workplace is closed by order of a public official due to the virus. However, the FAQ notes that an employer can allow the use of paid sick leave for reasons not covered by the ordinance.

Minneapolis, MN. Minneapolis FAQs. Employees in Minneapolis can use accrued sick leave for absences related to Coronavirus symptoms, testing, infection, or vaccine. Employees accrue a minimum of one (1) hour of sick and safe time for every thirty (30) hours worked within the geographic boundaries of the city up to a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours in a calendar year. Paid sick time can be used by the employee for self-care, or to care for a family member. Sick time can also be used if a family member’s school or place of child care is closed, or if the employee’s workplace is closed by order of a public official due to the virus. Preemptive closures or self-quarantine are not covered uses under the ordinance.

There is no expiration date for this ordinance.

Nevada
COVID-19 and paid leave guidance (Office of the Labor Commissioner, March 11, 2020)

  • Nevada’s labor commissioner issued COVID-19 guidance for the state’s new paid leave law (2019 Ch. 592). Employers are barred from requiring employees to use accrued paid sick leave if unable to work due to a mandatory government quarantine, but employees can choose to use paid or other applicable leave. Employers can find more information on the labor commission’s website that features links to COVID-19 resources, including a summary of new federal COIVD-19-related paid leave requirements. 
  • Under Nevada SB 4, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 they must be given 14 days off of work, 10 of which must be paid. There is no expiration deadline in the bill.
  • Employers with more than 50 employees in Nevada must provide employees with up to four hours of paid leave for employees who receive a two-dose vaccine and two-hours of paid leavae for a one-dose vaccine. This requirement is set to expire on December 31. 2023.

New JerseyCOVID-19 FAQs for employees (Department of Labor & Workforce Development)

  • Emergency legislation (AB 3848) prohibits employers in the state from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee who requests or takes time off from work based on a licensed medical professional’s written recommendation that the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease. The law is effective immediately and continues for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency declared by the governor in Executive Order 103. Violations could lead to reinstatement orders, fines up to $2,500 per instance and employee-initiated court action.
  • Another new law (SB 2304) amends New Jersey’s paid sick leave law to allow employees to use accrued sick time during a governor’s state of emergency declaration, extends job protections under the Family Leave Act to employees caring for a seriously ill family member, and expands the definition of a serious health condition under both temporary disability and family leave insurance. The amendments, effective March 25, 2020, are not specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and do not have an expiration date.
  • In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, on April 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 2374 (S2374), which amends the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance law (NJFLI) to provide job-protected,  paid leave to care for family members quarantined due to COVID-19, and amends the NJFLA to provide for  job-protected  unpaid leave to care for children due to COVID-19 school closures.  The legislation also allows employers to seek certification relating to these expanded categories of leave, allows highly paid employees to take leave if the leave is COVID-19 related, and provides that COVID-19-related leave may be taken on an intermittent basis. These new provisions are retroactively effective as of March 25, 2020.New Jersey employers of all sizes must provide full-time, part-time, and temporary employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year so they can care for themselves or a loved one, including for COVID-19 testing, illness, quarantine, or vaccination. Employees can also use earned sick leave to travel to and from a vaccine appointment and recover from side effects. See the New Jersey Department of Labor and Employment website for more information. There is no expiration date for this law.

New York, NY.  2020 Ch. 25, Emergency COVID-19 paid sick leave law (Senate, March 18, 2020)

  • Effective immediately, New York emergency legislation (2020 Ch. 25) &New Paid Leave for COVID-19 (Paid Family Leave) provides temporary paid sick leave for employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19. The law also expands the state’s existing PFL and disability benefit programs to certain employees. New York City’s and Westchester County’s paid sick time mandates are not preempted by the temporary state law entitlements. In addition, PFL (Section 355.9 of Title 12 NYCRR) has been amended on an emergency basis to clarify that employees may take family leave to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. Coordination of New York’s leave benefits with the new federal leave entitlement under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is complicated.
  • New York’s paid sick leave law requires employers with five or more employees or net income of more than one million dollars to provide paid sick leave . For more information see New York Paid Sick Leave (ny.gov). This is in addition toSenate Bill S8091 which provides COVID-19 emergency paid sick leavefor employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation, and legislation that grants paid leave to employees for COVID-19 vaccines. Paid Family Leave (Section 355.9 of Title 12 NYCRR) has been amended on an emergency basis to clarify that employees may take family leave to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, if an employer requires an employee to not come to work due to COVID-19, then the employer must continue to pay the employee. There is no expiration date on this law.
  • Some New York employers must provide at least up to five days of paid sick leave for employees who take leave because they are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. There is no expiration on this requirement.
  • Effective March 12, 2021, all employers must provide employees with up to four hours of paid leave to receive COVID-19 vaccines. There is no expiration on this requirement.

New York City, NY. On November 23, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill amending its Earned Safe and Sick Time Act requiring all private-sector employers to provide their employees with four hours of paid COVID-19 child vaccination leave for each of their children, per vaccine injection, retroactive to November 2, 2021. There is no expiration date for this bill.

Oregon: COVID-19 FAQs for employers and employees (Wage and Hour Division)

  • Oregon’s sick leave law requires employers to provide employees with at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. The state’s Wage and Hour Division has published FAQs for employers and employees about sick time and the coronavirus. Employees can use accrued sick time when a public health emergency closes their place of work, or they have to care for child whose school or child care center has closed due to the public health emergency. Employees also can use paid sick leave for their own illness or to care for an ill family member (including parents, grandparents and grandchildren).

Philadelphia, PA. Starting March 9, 2022 until December 31, 2023, employers with 25 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of additional paid sick leave to eligible employees when they are unable to work for certain COVID-19 reasons, including: 

  • Care for self or family member showing symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Care for self or family member exposed to COVID-19 in order to self isolate.

  •  Childcare or school closure.

  • In order to receive a COVID-19 test, vaccine or recover from injury, disability or illness related to vaccination.

This paid sick leave must be provided outside of and prior to using the eligible employee’s existing accrued paid time off banks including for full time employees, part time employees, and union employees. COVID-19 Leave must be provided to employees immediately with no waiting period. An employer is permitted only to request that an employee submit a self-certified statement asserting that leave was used for COVID-19 Leave purposes. See the law for more information.

Pittsburg, PA. In Pittsburgh, employers with 50 or more employees must provide their employees with paid sick leave for COVID-19 reasons, including when a public official, a public health authority, a healthcare provider, or an employer determines that an individual must quarantine or when an employee needs to care for a family member who must quarantine or who has COVID-19. There is no expiration date for this ordinance.

Rhode Island. The Healthy and Safe Families and Workplace Act requires employers with 18 or more employees to offer paid sick leave. Employers with fewer than 18 employees must provide at least unpaid sick leave. Employees accrue one hour for every 35 hours worked. This is capped at 40 hours per year. Paid sick time can be used for the employees physical or mental health needs or for a family member’s mental or physical needs. See the Department of Labor and Training website for more information.  Department of Administration FAQs for more information.Employees out of work for COVID-19-related reasons may discharge paid leave. See the Department of Administration FAQs for more information. There is no expiration date for this law.

Vermont. COVID-19 FAQs for employer and employees (Department of Labor, March 19, 2020)

  • Vermont’s paid sick time law requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of accrued paid leave every year. COVID-19 FAQs from the state’s Department of Labor remind employers and employees that accrued paid sick leave can be used by employees who have COVID-19 or need to care for a sick family member. Under the law, employees can also use accrued sick time when a family member’s school or business is closed for public health or safety reasons.

Washington. Paid sick leave and COVID-19 webpage (Department of Labor & Industries)

  • The Department of Labor & Industries has posted answers to common questions on paid sick leave and COVID-19. Employees can use paid sick leave if a public official closes their place of business or their child’s school or place of care due to COVID-19. Employees can also use paid time off for these purposes if paid sick leave is part of the PTO program. However, employers cannot require employees to use to their paid sick leave to cover virus-related absences. The employee can choose when to use accrued paid sick leave.

Seattle. 

 FAQs from Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards clarify how the city’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST) applies for the COVID-19 public emergency and detail the city’s amendments. The ordinance requires employers with one or more employees working in the city to provide paid leave to employees to care for themselves or a family member who has a physical or mental health condition, a medical appointment or a critical safety issue. Under the original ordinance, employees also could use accrued paid leave when a public official closes their place of business or their child’s school or place of care for health reasons. Gig workers who work for transportation or food delivery network companies may be eligible for PSST as well. There is no expiration date for this ordinance.