Last year’s Executive Order provided COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave in CA to certain food sector workers, and subsequent state legislation expanded the employees eligible to receive the leave to some non-food sector employees until December. In addition, federal law established the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) last year, which also required certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. While the state requirements for providing the supplemental leave did not apply to LEAs they were captured by the FFCRA.
The federal stimulus bill enacted in December 2020 did not provide an extension of the FFCRA, thus Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) expired. Absent federal or state law requiring LEAs to provide FFCRA leave, many have relied on local ordinances or accrued leave, unpaid leave, and other statutory leave entitlements to manage employee absences due to COVID-19-related reasons.
Assembly Bill 84 would reinstate the leave as a provision of state law and expand it to all public and private entities, including LEAs. The qualification reasons for leave described in AB 84 are similar to the FFCRA leave, with the addition of leave provided for employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.