Insights

San Mateo County Emergency Paid Sick Leave


On July 7, 2020, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors enacted an emergency paid sick leave ordinance effective July 8, 2020. The ordinance will remain in effect until December 31, 2020. It applies to employers with 500 or more employees nationwide with at least one employee performing work in San Mateo County’s unincorporated area since January 1, 2020. Food sector workers are excluded as they are already covered by California’s executive order. Also, an employer may limit leave for emergency responders, healthcare workers and aviation security.

Applicable employers must provide up to two weeks of paid leave for employees who are unable to perform work (including telework) for COVID-19-related reasons. The law is similar to emergency paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), but importantly applies to large employers that are exempt from the federal law. Full-time employees working 40 hours or more per week would receive a maximum of 80 hours of paid sick leave; while part-time employees would receive leave equivalent to their average number of hours worked over a two week period. Benefits are paid at 100% of normal wages up to a daily maximum of $511.

The reasons for leave are similar to those under the FFCRA:

  • The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state or local order due to COVID-19.
  • The employee is caring for someone who is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19.
  • The employee is advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 or is caring for someone who is so advised by a healthcare provider.
  • The employee experiences symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for a minor child (or senior adult) because a school or care provider is closed due to COVID-19.

The leave provided must be in addition to other available leaves. An employer cannot require an employee to take other available leave before or in lieu of the county’s emergency paid sick leave.

Employers should review this act and comply with its requirements.

San Mateo County Emergency Paid Sick Leave  »