AB 1867 packs three unrelated laws into one bill: supplemental paid sick leave for employers with 500 or more employees nationwide; handwashing requirements for food employees working in any food facility; and small employer family leave mediation pilot program under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: This bill codifies Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-51-20 (signed April 16, 2020) which provided supplemental paid sick leave to food sector employees for an employer with 500 or more employees nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave). This bill also extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave to non-food sector employees such that sick leave must be provided to all employees who leave their homes or place of residence to perform work and who work for employers that have 500 or more employees nationwide. Moreover, COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is now available to health care employees and emergency responders who were not provided paid sick leave by their employers under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).3
For an employee to be eligible for COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, the employee must be unable to work due to one of the following reasons: the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; the employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; or the employee is prohibited from working by the employer due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19. The California Labor Commissioner has clarified that being subject to the State of California’s “general stay-at-home order” does not mean that the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. Eligible employees are entitled to paid sick leave based on whether they are considered full-time or part-time. The California Labor Commissioner has published useful FAQs to assist employers.
In addition, an employer must comply with the notice and paystub requirement previously established under the California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA). In other words, an employer must provide an employee with written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available for use on either the employee’s itemized wage statement or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee’s payment of wages.
Covered employers are required to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave until December 31, 2020, the same date that the FFCRA is set to expire. Should the FFCRA be extended, the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave will also be extended to track the end date of the FFCRA. Finally, should the employee be on a COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave while the law expires, the employee is allowed to finish taking the amount of leave.
Handwashing Requirements: AB 1867 requires employees working in any food facility to be permitted to wash their hands every 30 minutes and additionally as needed.