© 2020 American Payroll Institute, Inc. State and Local Emergency Supplemental Paid Leave Updates Samended everal state and local jurisdictions have passed new or emergency supplemental paid leave laws that are meant to cover employers or employees not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The laws generally require paid leave for COVID-19- related reasons similar to leave required under the FFCRA. Additional states have clarified and strengthened COVID-19- related leave protections for workers by adapting existing laws to apply to the current public health crisis. California COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave New non-food-sector supplemental paid leave. Effective September 9, 2020, up to 80 hours of emergency supplemental paid leave must be provided: (1) by employers with 500 or more employees and (2) by employers of all sizes to health care employees and emergency responders. Both segments are excluded from federal FFCRA coverage the state requirements are intended to help fill the gap in coverage. A 10-day grace period applied, so employers must provide the leave as of September 19, 2020 [A.B. 1867, L. 2020]. Food sector supplemental paid leave. Additionally, the bill codifies emergency supplemental paid leave requirements for certain food sector workers, which were originally issued via Executive Order N-51-20 and have been required as of April 16, 2020 (see PAYSTATE UPDATE, Issue 9, Vol. 22). The new non-food-sector supplemental paid leave and the food-sector supplemental paid leave requirements will remain in effect until the expiration of the FFCRA (December 31, 2020). The Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) has already provided FAQs and related posters: a new poster for non-food-sector employees and a revised poster for food sector employees. Difference in independent contractor coverage. Food sector paid leave requirements apply to independent contractors in addition to employees, so the law and LCO guidance sometimes use the term “hiring entity” rather than “employer” and the word “worker” instead of “employee” because the requirements are intended to apply to a broader range of entities and workers. In contrast, non-food- sector leave requirements apply only to employees. Additional guidance on applicability. According to the LCO, a worker is eligible for supplemental paid leave under a quarantine order, isolation order, or medical professional’s recommendation that is specific to a worker’s circumstances or if the hiring entity requires the worker to stay home due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19. Credits for other paid leave allowed. According to guidance from the LCO, emergency supplemental paid leave provided under the Executive Order, a local ordinance, or an employer’s policy can be credited toward the required amount under state law, so long as the supplemental leave was paid at a rate that equaled or was greater than entitlements under the new state law. Michigan COVID-19 leave protections and requirements On July 29, 2020, the governor issued an executive order extending and reinforcing previous protections for workers, in part by requiring employers to allow the use of accrued paid sick leave for COVID-19-related issues and by prohibiting employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees for staying home or leaving work when they are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19 [Executive Order 2020-161, Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19, 7-29-20 Executive Order 2020-36, 4-3-20 Executive Directive 2020-8, 8-4-20]. Under the governor’s orders, the length of leave cannot be limited by the amount of leave that an employee has accrued under the state paid sick leave law. Employers can deduct leave taken from the employee’s accrued leave bank. To the extent that the employee has no paid leave, leave can be unpaid. Workers who display one or more of the principal symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 must be allowed paid or unpaid leave until three days have passed since their symptoms have resolved and seven days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or since they were swabbed for the test that yielded the positive result. The requirement ends if the employee receives a negative test result. Workers who have had close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or with an individual who displays one or more of the principal symptoms of COVID-19 must be allowed paid or unpaid leave until either 14 days have passed since the last close contact with the sick or symptomatic individual, or the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test. The director of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued an Emergency Order providing for civil fines of up to $1,000 and the referral of employers with violations to licensing agencies for the suspension of licenses [DHHS, Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253, 7-29-20]. Oregon COVID-19-related family leave Effective September 14, 2020, recent regulations issued by the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) provide that the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) allows employees to take protected time off to care for a child whose school September 28, 2020 Volume 22 Issue 19
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