California Legislature Approves Expanding Paid Sick Leave

On March 18, 2021, the California Legislature voted to expand paid sick leave, making up to two weeks of paid time off mandatory because of COVID-19 symptoms, scheduling a vaccine, or caring for a child who is remotely learning. If signed into law, the legislation would benefit approximately 10.4 million workers. 

The bill applies to companies with a minimum of 25 employees. While the rules would expire on September 30, the benefits apply retroactively to January 1, which means employers would have to pay employees for time they have already taken off. 

Many companies may obtain a maximum payroll tax credit of $511 per day for each worker that takes paid sick leave from the federal government. According to Sen. Nancy Skinner, the tax credit covers employees who earn up to $60 an hour. 

However, there are some limits to this credit. For instance, companies with fewer than 500 employees may claim the credit. Furthermore, if a worker takes time off to care for a loved one, then employers may only receive $200 per day. 

Because small businesses throughout California have struggled during the pandemic due to several government-ordered shutdowns, many employers have shown concern about providing such benefits to employees. One main point of worry is applying paid sick leave retroactively since some companies do not keep track of the reasons why workers took time off. 

Yet, California has provided businesses with much-needed help lately, approving grants worth more than $2 billion for small businesses that do not need to pay the money back. When it comes to licensing fees, the state has waived millions of dollars for small businesses. In addition, lawmakers may still propose a bill that would give businesses up to $2.3 million in tax breaks. 

The bill has been sent to by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. He has not said whether he will sign it. 

If you were wrongfully denied paid sick leave by your employer, look no further than our Hollister legal team at Polaris Law Group. Contact us today at (888) 796-4010 to discuss your case. Serving clients in Redding, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oakland, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Stockton & Modesto, Pleasanton, Redwood City, San Jose, the Silicon Valley, Hollister, Salinas, Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Santa Clarita, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, and San Diego. 

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