COVID-19 Paid sick leave for bigger (and smaller) employers in San Jose, San Francisco and TBA . . .

A phrase that bugs me (since it means someone is going to pull some “whataboutism” on me) is “I think we can all agree . . .” But there comes a time when you just have to use it. So. . . I think we can all agree that it has been “a week/month/2020.”

But wait, there’s more!

A big change this week is for employers in the City of San Jose or San Francisco (and Oakland and Emeryville by the time I post this). Such employers may have understood that the new federal Paid Sick Leave (FPSL) and emergency FMLA (eFMLA) under FFCRA didn’t apply to you because of your size. Welp, that changed!

San Jose’s COVID-10 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is intended to cover employers too big (over 500 employees) AND less than 50 employees. As you know, employers with less than 50 employees may have been exempt from FFCRA’s rules if the provision of the benefits would be detrimental to the financial viability of the company.

Under the San Jose emergency ordinance, businesses that remain in operation during the county and state’s stay-at-home mandates are required to provide employees affected by coronavirus with an 80 hours of sick leave. Businesses that already provide employees with at least 80 hours of paid sick leave or PTO are exempt. If an employer provides less than 80 hours, they have to offer the difference.

Generally, San Francisco employers who were too big (over 500 employees nationally), are now covered by the SF Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance. This provides that employees who have performed 56 or more hours as an employee with SF during the year before the effective date of the ordinance get up to 80 hours of supplemental paid leave for COVID-19 related reasons. As with the FFCRA, healthcare worker are not eligible. This paid sick leave is in addition to sick leave under state and local law.

We’re still reviewing the new rules, so if you have questions, let me know!

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