Guide to COVID-19 Related Frequently Asked Questions

2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Expired on September 30, 2021

From January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021, California required employers with 26 or more employees to provide their workers up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for COVID-19 related reasons. After September 30, workers who were not paid the SPSL they were entitled to when they were unable to work in 2021 due to COVID-19 can still request pay from their employer or file a claim with the Labor Commissioner. For more information, visit the Labor Commissioner’s webpage on the expiration of 2021 COVID-19 SPSL.
However, exclusion pay is still required under the COVID-19 Emergency Standards for workers who have to quarantine due to a COVID-19 workplace exposure. For more information visit: Exclusion Pay (

FAQs on Recall Rights

  • Types and sizes of businesses that must comply with the recall law
  • Which employees have recall rights
  • How recall of laid-off employees happens
  • Employee and employer notification under the law
  • Records that must be maintained by the employer
  • What can be done if recall rights are violated or retaliation occurs
  • Interaction with non-state recall ordinances

FAQs on CA 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

  • Supplemental Paid sick leave for CA employees
  • Coverage
  • Reasons for taking leave
  • Date in effect and expiration date
  • Requesting leave from an employer
  • Calculating leave
  • Credits
  • Record keeping and pay stubs
  • Notice required, retaliation protections, filing a claim
  • Relation to other laws

FAQs on Exclusion Pay Under the Emergency Temporary Standard

  • Employees exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Eligibility for exclusion pay
  • Calculating pay
  • Relationship to Paid Sick Leave Law
  • Filing a wage claim for exclusion pay
  • Anti-Retaliation protections related to exclusion pay

Testing and Vaccine FAQs

  • Compensation for time spent obtaining COVID-19 test or vaccination
  • Compensation for cost of COVID-19 test or vaccination
  • Anti-retaliation protections related to vaccination

Side by Side Comparison of Paid Leave Options

Covers basic protections and eligibility requirements for:

  • CA Paid Family Leave
  • CA Paid Sick Leave
  • CA 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Essential and Non-essential Workers

  • Paid Sick Leave
  • The Stay-at-Home Order
  • Protections for non-essential workers who refuse to return to work
  • Guidance for individuals who are over 65 or immunocompromised
  • Protections for independent contractors
  • Filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner

Laws Enforced by the Labor Commissioner’s Office

  • Paid sick leave
  • Options if your child's school or day care closes
  • Reporting time pay
  • Employee right to privacy
  • Retaliation protections
  • Participating remotely in Labor Commissioner actions

Safe Reopening for Workers and Employers

  • Employer obligations to keep the workplace and employees safe
  • Positive COVID-19 tests
  • Paid Sick leave
  • Face coverings
  • Medical Checks
  • Waivers of liability
  • Returning to worksite

Conditional Suspension of California’s WARN ACT Notice Requirements

  • The executive order which addresses the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and its 60-day notice requirement for an employer that orders a mass layoff, relocation, or termination at a covered establishment.

FAQs on CA 2020 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (EXPIRED 12/31/2020)

  • Paid sick leave for food sector employees
  • Paid sick leave for non-food sector employees
  • Date in effect and expiration date
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Employer approval
  • Coverage for independent contractors in food sector
  • Amount of leave
  • Retaliation protections, filing a claim
  • Local laws, SDI and employer credit for providing leave
  • Posting requirements

Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 related reasons expired on December 31, 2020.  If you have a claim for a violation of the law that occurred prior to December 31, 2020, your claim will be heard. More information on the SPSL expiration is available on the Labor Commissioner’s webpage.

June 2021