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Bill To Expanded Paid Sick Leave During COVID Heads To Governor’s Desk

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Sacramento, CA – About 10.4 million workers in California could soon get expand paid sick leave – at least for the next six months.

On Thursday, the California Legislature passed the expansion legislation, sending a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom. It mandates up to two weeks of paid time off for companies with at least 25 employees for things like having coronavirus symptoms, scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine, or caring for a child who is doing school at home.

If signed into law, it will expire on Sept. 30, but be retroactive to Jan. 1st, meaning some companies would have to pay their workers for time off they have already taken. However, many companies can get that money back from the federal government, which offers companies a payroll tax credit of up to $511 per day for each employee that takes the paid sick leave. It covers workers who make $60 an hour or less, but only applies to companies with more than 500 employees.

Companies with fewer than 25 employees can offer the paid leave and claim the federal tax credit. But they would not be required to do so under the bill.

No word yet from Newsom as to whether he will sign the bill into law. Last year he signed a similar bill that expired on Dec. 31.