May 12, 2020
On April 16, 2020, the San Jose Department of Public Works, Office of Equality Assurance provided guidance related to the COVD-19 paid sick leave ordinance. Under the new law, employers are exempt if they provide employees with some combination of paid personal leave at least equivalent to the paid sick time required by the ordinance.
The new guidance clarifies that an employer is only exempt if it provides the equivalent amount of paid leave time to an employee on the effective date of the ordinance: April 7, 2020. In other words, that amount of time must be available to an otherwise eligible employee on April 7, 2020. For example, let’s say that the employer provides employees with three weeks of PTO, which may be used as sick time. Prior to April 7, 2020, an employee had already used two weeks of the PTO for 2020. The employer must provide the employee with additional time to comply with the two week paid sick leave requirement if the employee has a COVID-19-related reason for leave.
San Jose Department of Works Memo »