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AB 1867: Employers Must Provide COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Emergency Responders and Health Care Providers

Effective September 19, 2020, Assembly Bill 1867 (codified as Labor Code 248.1), recently signed by the Governor, will require public and private employers to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave (“COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave”) for “emergency responder” and “health care provider” employees who are exempt from the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Similar to the FFCRA, the benefits provided under AB 1867 expire on December 31, 2020.

Definition of Emergency Responder
An emergency responder is defined as “anyone necessary for the provision of transport, care, healthcare, comfort and nutrition of such patients, or others needed for the response to COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to military or national guard, law enforcement officers, correctional institution personnel, fire fighters, emergency medical services personnel, physicians, nurses, public health personnel, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, child welfare workers and service providers, public works personnel, and persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency, as well as individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility.”

Employers’ Responsibilities
Under AB 1867, employers must now provide EPSL to emergency responders and health care providers who have been exempted from FFCRA’s EPSLA if the employee is unable to work for one or more of the following three reasons.

  • Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • Employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • Employee is prohibited from working by the employer due to concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19.

Employees using this leave are entitled their regular rate of pay capped at $511 per day and $5,110 total for the 80 hours.

Employers must post a notice that will be provided by the California Labor Commissioner. If workers do not frequent a workplace, employers can disseminate notice electronically, e.g., by email.

For employers that provided the emergency responder employees a comparable benefit and compensation, AB 1867 expressly provides that the employer may attribute the supplemental benefits provided for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of Labor Code section 248.1.

Meyers Nave assists California employers to navigate frequently changing federal, state and local COVID-19 related laws. For updates on COVID-19 developments, please click here to visit our COVID-19 Resource Center or send an email to info@meyersnave.com.