2127 - Covid-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
- Employee Relations Officers
- Personnel Officers
- Personnel Transactions Supervisors
Provides information on Senate Bill 95 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.
On March 19, 2021 Senate Bill (SB) 95 was chaptered and is retroactive to January 1, 2021. SB 95 provides supplemental paid sick leave (SB 95 SPSL) to all employees for the reasons listed in the section below.
SB 95 COVID-19 SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE
The SB 95 SPSL is retroactive to January 1, 2021, applies to all employees, including retired annuitants (CalPERS Circular Letter 200-023-21), and is in addition to the employee’s other leave balances. SB 95 SPSL is separate and any leave used under the Families First Coronavirus Act or AB 1867 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave does not count against this new entitlement.
SB 95 SPSL will be documented as ATO on the timesheet. Employees may be eligible to take up to 80 hours (firefighters may be eligible for more) of SB 95 SPSL if they are unable to work or telework due to any of the following reasons:
The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace; or
The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; or
The employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; or
The employee is experiencing symptoms related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework; or
The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or
The employee is caring for a family member as defined in the California Labor Code, section 245.5 subdivision (c), who is subject to an order or guidelines under number 1 or 2; or
The employee is caring for a child as defined in the California Labor Code, section 245.5, subdivision (c), whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
The employee’s time base determines the number of SB 95 SPSL hours the employee is entitled to receive.
Full-time employees receive up to 80 hours of SB 95 SPSL at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Part-time employees with a set time base receive a prorated amount based on their time base.
Intermittent employees receive 14 times the average number of hours worked each day during the preceding six months, up to 80 hours. The calculations are as follows:
To calculate the average number of hours worked by an intermittent employee with a variable schedule over the past six months, the figure is determined based on the total number of days in the 6-month period, not just the number of days worked.
If the intermittent employee has worked less than six months, determine the average for the time the employee has worked for the state.
An active firefighter who was scheduled to work more than 80 hours in the two weeks preceding the date the SB 95 SPSL is taken is entitled to an amount of SPSL equal to the total number of hours that the covered worker was scheduled to work in the two preceding weeks. For example, if a firefighter worked 100 hours in the preceding two weeks, they are eligible for 100 hours of SB 95 SPSL at their regular rate of pay, and not limited to 80 hours.
The leave shall be available for immediate use by the eligible employee, upon the verbal or written request of the employee to the department. Departments cannot require an eligible employee to use other leave before the use of SB 95 SPSL, including PLP 2020. Upon verbal or written request by the employee, the employer shall provide the covered employee with a retroactive payment if the request meets one of the reasons listed above. Retroactive payments require an amended timesheet signed by the employee and their supervisor.
If an eligible employee is otherwise entitled to receive Industrial Disability Leave (IDL) or Enhanced Industrial Disability Leave (EIDL), the use of SB 95 SPSL shall not count against the employee’s maximum IDL or EIDL entitlement. An eligible employee may receive SB 95 SPSL during the waiting period for IDL or EIDL.
Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee based upon the employee’s use of SB 95 SPSL.
Documentation for SB 95 SPSL
For reason number 7 COVID must be on the school or place of care premises to be eligible. Distance and hybrid learning are not eligible reasons for leave, unless the student's classroom is closed because of COVID-19 on the premises. Substantiation of the classroom closure may be required. Departments should follow their normal department process for sick leave substantiation for the other SB 95 SPSL reasons. However, the leave should be granted immediately and the employee should be allowed reasonable time to provide the needed substantiation.
The California Labor Commissioners Office has a required Workplace Poster which can be accessed through the following link https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2021-COVID-19-Supplemental-Paid-Sick-Leave.pdf. Departments must post the Workplace Poster at the worksite, distribute them electronically to all staff, as well as post them on the department’s website or intranet site.
The SB 95 SPSL expires on September 30, 2021, except that a covered employee taking SB 95 SPSL at the time of expiration shall be permitted to take the full amount to which the employee otherwise would have been entitled.
On March 18, 2020, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which enacted both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.
On September 9, 2020 AB 1867 was chaptered and became effective September 19, 2020. AB 1867 provides supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) to employees designated as health care workers or emergency responders in departments who have exempted those employees from the FFCRA.
Both programs expired December 31, 2020. However, AB 1867 allowed employees who were using SPSL as of December 31, 2020 to continue using the leave they were otherwise entitled to.
Prior versions of this policy explain these expired programs in more detail and can be found by clicking the View History link at the bottom of the page.
Payments under this program are not subject to the PLP 2020 reduction, although the law provides a maximum benefit allowance, the State provides a better benefit than the law and allows the employee to receive their full pay for SB 95 SPSL.
Departments must develop a mechanism to manually track all pay provided to employees under the SB 95 SPSL program. The tracking mechanism must include the employee’s name, leave type used, dates the leave is used, hours of leave used, and total amount paid to the employee under each program. SB 95 SPSL must be tracked separate from previous programs that provided similar benefits.
Employees must clearly document on their timesheet in the comments section or location as defined by the department that SB 95 SPSL is being utilized. For example: when using any portion of the entitlement, SB 95 SPSL should be identified in the comments section, along with the dates taken. In addition, the employee should document the time off as ATO time for the applicable days and hours the leave is used.
Intermittent Leave Use
Eligible employees may use SB 95 SPSL leave intermittently if they are unable to work or telework to care for an employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 on the premises. Additionally, if an eligible employee who is teleworking away from the normal worksite and is unable to work or telework due to any of the qualifying reasons may use SB 95 SPSL intermittently. For example, SB 95 SPSL may be used in increments if the employee is teleworking due to exposure and subsequently becomes sick with COVID and can no longer telework.
Refer to The State Controller’s Office for payroll processing instructions.
Departments received an email from the Department of Human Resources, Personnel Services Branch allowing departments to use their ATO delegation and provide employees time off to obtain their COVID-19 vaccines. This information remains unchanged and departments should still provide ATO for this purpose. ATO for this purpose does not need to be tracked using the mechanism above, and is not counted against the employees SB 95 SPSL entitlement. Departments are reminded to keep records of all ATO on file for audit purposes and to substantiate the reasons for any ATO provided to employees for any reason.
- CalPERS Circular Letters: List of CalPERS Circular Letters
- COVID-19: 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQ's
- Definition of Family Member: Labor Code section 245.5
Chief, Personnel Management Division
Personnel Services Branch
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Services Branch