Apr 02, 2021



On March 18, 2021, the California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law (CA-SPSL) was expanded and extended. Effective immediately, the law retroactively applies from January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021.


The new law expands the scope of covered employers, as well as the covered reasons for employees to take the leave. Review the quick guide and resources below to learn more about the new changes.


Important Updates 

CA-SPSL now covers employers with more than 25 employees. It also permits employees to take paid leave whenever they are unable to work or telework, meaning that the new law applies even to individuals who do not leave home for work. 

The new covered reasons for leave include situations when the employee cannot work or telework because the employee:

·     is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the State Department of Public Health, the CDC, or a local health officer with jurisdiction over the workplace,

·     has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19,

·     is attending an appointment to receive a vaccine for protection against contracting COVID-19,

·     is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework,

·     is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis,

·     is caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or guidelines, or who has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider, or

·     is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.


Retroactive Effect:

The obligation to provide leave begins on March 29, 2021, at which point the requirements apply retroactively, to January 1, 2021. Employers are required to issue retroactive payments to employees who took leave for a covered reason, upon written or verbal request by an employee. Employers need to begin complying with the written notice requirements the next full pay period following the March 19, 2021, effective date of the legislation.


Amount of Leave:

·     Like the old law, the new CA-SPSL requires employers to provide full-time employees with a new allotment of up to 80 hours of CA-SPSL for 2021.

·     Part-time employees who work normal schedules are entitled to the total number of hours they are typically scheduled to work in a two-week period.

·     Part-time employees with variable schedules are entitled to the average number of hours in the preceding six months, or during the period the employee has worked for the employer.

·     Employees who have worked 14 days or fewer are entitled to receive the total number of hours they have worked for the employer.


Rate of Pay:

·     Nonexempt employees must be paid at the highest of (i) their regular rate during the workweek in which they take the leave, (ii) the total wages (not including overtime) divided by the total hours worked in the past 90 days of employment, or (iii) the state or local minimum wage.

·     An employer is not required to pay more than $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate to a covered employee for 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave taken by the covered employee, but the covered employee may utilize other paid leave that may be available in order to receive what they would normally earn if the cap is reached.


Related Tax Credits:

Refundable tax credits that cover the costs of this paid leave may be available for small businesses and certain self-employed individuals. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 amended and extended the tax credits (and the availability of advance payments of the tax credits) for paid sick and family leave for wages paid with respect to the period beginning April 1, 2021, and ending on September 30, 2021. These changes are still being outlined. Please continue to review the FAQs on this matter CLICK HERE.





·     For more information on the notification requirements, how the new CA-SPSL interacts with other paid leave and an exhaustive list of Frequently Asked Questions CLICK HERE.


·     Access the required poster to be included in the workplace or distributed to remote employees by the Department of Industrial Relations HERE.


·     We encourage businesses to consult and secure their own legal counsel. While that is an out of pocket expense, it is prudent and may help avoid higher costs down the line. The EDC partners with attorneys from Fisher Phillips for our Quarterly Legal/HR Update Webinars. Our excellent presenters, Hannah Sweiss and Nicole Kamm, can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]. NOTE: The EDC does not endorse a particular law firm or practice.





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