California’s New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law Provides Additional Paid Time Off and Retroactive Pay and Benefits

By Alexandra D. Thaler

Effective March 29, 2021 and continuing through September 30, 2021, California employers with 25 or more employees must provide up to 80 hours of paid COVID-19 sick leave, under the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (SB 95).  Pay is generally determined based on the employee’s regular rate (for non-exempt employees) or the rate at which other paid leave is paid (for exempt employees), and is capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate.   Importantly, the entitlement is retroactive, in that any employee who took qualifying leave between January 1, 2021 and March 29, 2021 is entitled to pay for that time off, provided that the employee makes a written or oral request for the retroactive pay on or after March 29th; employers do not need to go back and ascertain eligibility on their own.  The retroactive payment must be made “on or before the payday for the next full pay period after the oral or written request.” Read more