March 25, 2021
Authored by: Allison Eckstrom and Sharlene Meno
March 2021 brought a variety of legislative changes impacting California employers. On March 11, 2021 President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the Act). Among other things, including the widely publicized $1,400 stimulus payments, the Act extends the $300.00 federal unemployment benefit and the availability of the payroll tax credits to employers through September 30, 2021. Additionally, for those employers who opt to continue to provide Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)-type leave, the Act makes several significant changes to how the FFCRA is to be implemented with regard to both Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFML).
Then, on March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (SB 95), providing a new form of COVID-19 related paid sick leave for many California workers. The new law, among other things, extends protections to employees who are teleworking and expands the qualifying reasons for COVID-19 sick leave.
We provide below a summary of the key amendments to FFCRA and highlight the requirements under the newly promulgated California COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
Key Amendments Under The American Rescue Plan Act Of 2021
By way of review, employer obligations to provide paid