Coronavirus (COVID-19) and State Updates

March 18, 2021

Federal Updates

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC has released interim public health recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. To learn more click here.

State Updates

California

City of San Francisco – Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO)

PPLO was signed into law in 2016 by then-Mayor Ed Lee and became effective January 1, 2017. As with any ordinance or law, compliance is key. We want to share some tips to ensure you are in line with the requirements of PPLO:

Know where your employees are working. An employee is covered under PPLO if they:

1) have worked at least 180 days prior to the start of the leave period,

2) have performed at least eight hours of work per week and at least 40% of their total weekly hours for the employer in San Francisco, and

3) are eligible for Paid Family Leave benefits for the purpose of bonding with a new child.

If the work location is outside of San Francisco, but you have employees who live in San Francisco, it’s imperative that you know if an employee may be working from home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One suggestion is to require managers to notify Benefits/HR when they allow an employee to work from home in San Francisco when they generally report to the office location outside of San Francisco.

  • Maintain the appropriate records of leave requests, supplemental compensation provided to employees, DE 2503Fs (notice of claim filed from the EDD) and notices of computation (sent to employees). This all will help if and when you are faced with an audit.
  • If your leave policy and/or employee handbook describes personal or parental leave available to your employees, be sure to include a description of the rights to supplemental compensation under the PPLO.
  • Be sure to provide employees with the PPLO form. If you have a parental leave top-up pay program that provides full pay (PFL benefits + pay) for at least 8 weeks, you do not need to provide employees with the PPLO form. However, if you have a policy that combines pregnancy and parental top-up pay, the PPLO form should still be sent in case an employee has an extended pregnancy disability leave period. You would still have to post the notice as well.

We are here to support you in complying with the PPLO. For example, we can include the PPLO form in our leave packets for clients. Our Account Managers will contact clients directly on these topics if any follow-up may be needed.

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Things are happening quickly! We were going to send an update that SB 95 has passed the assembly and was with the senate, but the senate has already passed the bill which now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The law will go into effect 10 days after it’s signed by Governor Newsom and will be retroactive to January 1, 2021. It will expire on September 30, 2021. The law is similar to last year’s SB 1867 (see our September 11, 2020 newsletter with more details) but it contains some important changes:

  • Will apply to employers with 25 or more employees (previously 500 or more employees nationwide)
  • Will apply to employees who are “unable to work or telework” due to a qualifying reason (previously, employees had to leave their home to perform work)
  • The bill provides for a brand new bank of paid sick leave hours (yes, a full-time employee who received SPSL last year would be eligible for another 80 hours this year)
  • Additional leave reasons:
    • The employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine;
    • The employee is experiencing symptoms related to the vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework;
    • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • The employee is caring for a family member who is subject to quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 (including self-quarantine); or,
    • The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.

There will be a required notice for employees – we will share the model notice once it’s available. The notice may be provided electronically to employees.

SPSL hours must be indicated on wage statements (separate from regular sick days).

New York

Paid Vaccination Leave Law

Last Friday, Governor Cuomo signed SB S2588A which grants employees up to four hours of paid leave in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This leave entitlement is separate from any other leave that an employee may be entitled including sick leave. The law is effective immediately and will expire on December 31, 2022.

Virginia

Effective July 1, 2021, the Virginia Human Rights Act will include individuals with disabilities as a protected class. Additionally, HB 1848 will make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical and mental impairments of an otherwise qualified person with a disability, if necessary to assist such person in performing a particular job, unless doing so poses an undue hardship. Further, it will be unlawful to take adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation. The law applies to employers with 5 or more employees.

Employers must engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with an employee who requests an accommodation. Notice to employees of their rights to reasonable accommodation for disabilities will be required and the same information must be included in any employee handbook. Once the notice is available, we will let you know.

et|icon_grid-2×2|
You may also like…
COVID-19 and State Updates

COVID-19 and State Updates

U.S. Federal Update Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The Treasury Department and the IRS worked...

COVID-19 and State Updates

COVID-19 and State Updates

There’s a lot to get to this time around - things don’t seem to be slowing down one bit. To begin with, we wanted to...

COVID-19 and State Updates

COVID-19 and State Updates

General Reminder During the last year and a half almost all employers have experienced employees moving away from...