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Are you an essential business? Paid Sick leave is mandatory! (City of San Jose, CA)

On April 16, 2020 the City of San Jose Urgency Ordinance No. 30390 went into effect. This ordinance applies to all businesses with less than 50 employees, filling the gap left by Federal Law (HR6201 or Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act – FFCRA).

This ordinance requires all essential businesses to provide paid sick leave for its employees. Essential businesses are those in the food industry (i.e. restaurants), grocery stores, health care, gas stations, banks, real estate, among others. These businesses may remain open under “minimum basic operations” as long as they follow social distancing requirements.

If you are an employer in this essential business category, you must provide the paid sick-leave benefit to each Employee who leaves his/her residence to perform Essential Work and is effective immediately. A full-time employee (40 hours a week) is entitled to eighty (80) hours of paid sick leave; a part-time employee is entitled to sick leave hours equal to the number of hours he/she works on average over a two (2) – week period.

Employees using sick time to care for themselves shall be paid their regular rate or pay up to $511.00 per day, not to exceed an aggregate of $5,110.00. Employees using sick time to care for another person may be paid at two-thirds (2/3) of their regular rate of pay up to $200.00 per day, not to exceed an aggregate of $2,000.00.

An employee may use this paid sick leave for 4 very specific reasons:

1. The Employee is subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state or local order due to COVID-19, or is caring for someone who is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19,

2. The Employee is advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 or is caring for someone who is so advised by a health-care provider,

3. The Employee experiences symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis, or

4. The Employee is caring for a minor child because a school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19. Make sure you are in compliance!

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