WHAT’S NEW IN 2021 PAID PANDEMIC LEAVE IN THE NEW YEAR « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Some Benefits Optional, Some Mandatory

Nationwide Voluntary COVID-Related Paid Sick Leave: Until its December 31, 2020 expiration, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required COVID-19-related emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave for nearly all employers with fewer than 500 on payroll. The FFCRA’s tax rules also created a 100% wash by federal tax credits up to the leave amounts paid.

To encourage an employer’s voluntary provision of such FFCRA paid sick leave to employees who have not already used such benefits, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021 extends the “100% wash” tax credits to March 31, 2021.

The CCA also extends the FFCRA’s documentation and compensation requirements. Employers must not retaliate against any employee who seeks to take such paid leave.

Employers who choose to provide such optional benefits should update their policies and forms accordingly.

California’s Mandatory Pandemic-Related Paid Sick Leave: California employers also should become familiar with newly issued Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standards (November 30, 2020) requiring “exclusion” pay and benefits to employees who are on leave to prevent any further workplace exposure.  Exclusion pay is not required if an employee is unable to work for other reasons (e.g., business closure, caring for a family member or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms) or if employer can establish the excluded employee’s exposure was not work related.

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For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

January 15, 2021