New paid sick leave required – SB 95
On March 19th, Governor Newsom signed SB 95, a law that requires a new bank of supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave to be provided by employers to employees within days.
What the CRA Fought For
Hundreds and hundreds of you joined our advocacy efforts to let lawmakers know how difficult it is right now to take on costly new state mandates, especially when there are a variety of new paid leave programs already on the books.
Among the policy changes the CRA and the larger business community advocated for was the establishment of a new state tax credit for costs associated with this new requirement that are not covered by the federal tax credit for this purpose. We also argued that the retroactive portion of the bill should be eliminated. (It is retroactive to January 1st of this year.)
What the Legislature Did
The legislature moved ahead without addressing those issues and, in the end, SB 95 became law as lawmakers argued their belief that federal tax credits would help offset the costs of the new paid sick leave mandate.
They excluded the smallest of employers (those with 25 or fewer employees) from the law, another argument they made in favor of passing it.
The retroactivity of this law adds extreme complexity to compliance and is an area of the law warranting heightened awareness and attention.
What the New Law Does
SB 95 mandates a new bank of 80 hours of paid sick leave. The new law “…shall take effect 10 days after the date of enactment…,” pointing to March 29th as the effective date for compliance.
The law applies retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021, and will expire on Sept. 30, 2021. The law also expands the qualifying reasons for an employee to take the leave.
Fisher Phillips Alert: Read now
Expected updates on the new law will be posted on the California Labor Commissioner’s website: Learn more
Full text of SB 95: Read now
Notice to Print and Display: Download PDF
Your advocacy efforts were worthwhile on this matter. Thank you for your participation – your voice is always important, even if the conclusion in this case is not what we had argued for.