As California continues to advance its reopening efforts, the state’s retailers are grappling with rapid changes to the law surrounding their operations and the management of their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. One area that has seen frequent change is the sick leave landscape in California. While the last statewide California sick leave law (applying to businesses with 500+ employees) expired on December 31, 2020, the state has now created a new sick leave entitlement that will create new challenges for retailers in the Golden State.
California retailers (and other employers) with more than 25 employees must provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to their California employees under a recent law signed by the Governor. This new law is broader than California’s prior COVID-19 paid sick leave law and, unlike the prior law, also covers employees who telework. The new sick leave entitlement is retroactive to January 1, 2021 and extends until September 30, 2021.