Benefits Provided Here again, the law mirrors the federal COVID-19 paid sick time law:
• Full-time Employees: Entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. • Part-time Employees: Entitled to sick leave hours equal to the number of hours worked on average over a two-week period (using the average number of hours the employee worked per day between November 8, 2019 and April 7, 2020). • Employee Sickness: If the need is for the employee, sick leave is paid paid their regular rate of pay up to $511.00 per day, not to exceed an aggregate of $5,110. • Care for Another Person: If the employee is using sick time to care for another person, sick time is paid at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay up to $200.00 per day, not to exceed an aggregate of $2,000. • No Waiting Period: Paid sick leave benefits are available for an employee to use immediately. • No Cash-Out Value: If an employee terminates with an unused paid sick leave balance, there is no requirement to compensate the employee for the unused time. • No Replacement Worker: Employers cannot require that an employee find a replacement as a condition of using the paid sick leave benefit.
Exemptions The ordinance does contain a few notable exceptions:
• Work from Home: Benefits are not payable for employees who can work from home. • Other PTO: If an employer already provides employees with PTO equivalent to the paid sick time required by the ordinance, they need not provide additional paid sick leave. Existing PTO may be used as a full or partial offset to the requirements of the ordinance. • Hospitals : Employers that are hospitals are provided two weeks from the effective date (until April 21, 2020) to comply with the requirements. • Construction : The ordinance provides a potential exception for construction industry employers with unionized workforces. No Tax Credits Unlike the FFCRA COVID-19 paid sick time, no offsetting tax credits are available under the San Jose Ordinance. It would stand to reason that San Jose employers with fewer than 50 employees would not elect to opt out of providing the FFCRA paid sick time, they would still be required to provide paid sick leave (under the San Jose ordinance), but there would no offsetting tax credits. Notice Provisions No specific notice provisions are included in the ordinance. However, employers can expect that the San Jose Office of Equality Assurance will implement and enforce the ordinance in the same manner consistent with how the San Jose Minimum Wage Ordinance is enforced. As such, it is expected that they will establish requirements to inform employees of their rights, including requiring employers to post notices. Stay tuned for further developments.
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