Insights

Sonoma County Emergency Paid Sick Leave


On August18, 2020, Sonoma County became the latest California jurisdiction to enact an emergency paid sick leave ordinance related to COVID-19. The law applies to employers with more than 500 employees — those not covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Employees, including healthcare industry workers and first responders, will be eligible for up to two weeks of paid leave if they have worked within the unincorporated area of Sonoma County for at least two hours. Those working in Santa Rosa are exempt as the city has passed its own emergency paid sick leave law.

Eligible full-time employees (those working 40 hours per week) are entitled up to 80 hours of paid sick leave benefits in a two week period. Eligible part-time employees would receive a prorated benefit based on the average number of hours worked in a two-week period during the previous six months. The maximum benefit is $511 per day.

Mirroring the FFCRA, the leave must be provided if the employee cannot work or telework because:

  • The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state or local order due to COVID-19
  • The employee needs to care for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for an individual whose senior care provider or whose school or childcare provider is closed or is unavailable in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation

Employers may require employees to identify the reason for the leave, but may not require a doctor’s certification or other supporting documentation.

The law and its provisions are effective through December 31, 2020, unless the FFCRA is extended beyond that date.

Sonoma County Emergency Paid Sick Leave »