Before the COVID-19 crisis, there were limited paid leave entitlements in California for employees requiring time off to deal with childcare and school closures. California Labor Code 230.8 required that employers of 25 or more employees working at the same location were required to provide employees with up to 40 hours of unpaid leave within a calendar year to handle child-related activities, including to address a childcare provider or school emergency. As schools and childcare facilities began closing due to COVID-19, the California Labor Commissioner released a Frequently Asked Question page clarifying that employees may apply their California Paid Sick Leave to a covered leave under California Labor Code section 230.8. Also, pre-COVID-19, the City of San Diego was unique in California in that it included care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to a public health emergency as a covered reason for its local sick leave. However, in mid-March, the landscape of leave entitlements available to employees for COVID-19 related school and childcare closures began to radically expand. Several cities in California responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with an expansion of their local paid sick leave ordinances to cover leave necessitated by the closure of a school or childcare due to a COVID-19 public health emergency.
Please find the full article on the Jackson Lewis Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog.