CAUTIONARY TALE EPISODE 43 COVID SICK LEAVE NOT OPTIONAL « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Grocery Store Chain Fined Heavily for Violations

The California Labor Commissioner has cited Bodega Latina Corporation $447,836 for the failure of three southern California El Super grocery stores to provide supplemental paid sick leave (PSL) for 95 workers impacted by COVID-19.  The violations included requiring people to work while ill, telling some workers in COVID isolation to apply for unemployment instead of paying PSL, not allowing employees to quarantine after exposure to family members with a positive test, and delaying leave payments for months.

Properly providing benefits would have saved these employers:

  • $318,200 in penalties;
  • $14,895 damages and interest assessed under Labor Code 248.2 for COVID-19 PSL payable by employers of 26 or more; and
  • $114,742 damages and interest assessed under Labor Code 248 levied for COVID-19 PSL for food sector workers.

Identifying supplemental PSL as “a tool to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower stated: “Supplemental paid sick leave is intended to protect workers from being forced to choose between their health and providing for their families. These violations expose workers, their families and El Super’s customers to unnecessary health risks.”

Supplemental PSL went into effect on March 29, 2021 retroactive to January 1, 2021.  Employer obligations to provide these benefits will expire September 30, 2021 unless, as expected with the current spread of the Delta variant, the legislature extends it.

Take Away:  Employers must stay on top of and comply with required COVID-19 protocols and benefits.  We continue to advise employers on the mandates, recently updating our templates to the changing state standards.

See also:

For further information or assistance, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth orHelena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin
August 20, 2021

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