- updated 10/20/2021
All California workers, regardless of immigration status, have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Workers’ rights and benefits are provided by different agencies based on the situation and some are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that workers inform their employer as soon as possible if they were diagnosed or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Paid Sick Leave
- California paid sick leave is available for all workers to use if they are sick or to care for family members. Employees start accruing leave when they begin work and can start using it after 90 days. Employers must provide up to three days, or 24 hours, of paid sick leave per year. Learn more about Paid Sick Leave from the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement here.
- Short-term Disability
- Short-term disability payments may be available to workers who are unable to work or are working less due to disability. Workers must have paid into the short-term Disability Insurance (DI) program to be eligible to receive benefits. Eligible workers will receive up to 60 or 70 percent of the weekly wages for a maximum of 52 weeks. There is not a waiting period for COVID-19 diagnosis. Learn more or apply for short-term disability from the California Employment Development Department here.
- Paid Family Leave
- Paid family leave is available for workers who are unable to work because they need to care for a seriously ill family member. Workers must have paid into the short-term Disability Insurance (DI) program to be eligible to receive benefits. Eligible workers will receive up to 60 or 70 percent of the weekly wages for a maximum of eight weeks. Learn more or apply for paid family leave from the California Employment Development Department here.
- Workers’ Compensation
- If you are injured at work, or believe you contracted COVID-19 at the workplace, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers' compensation benefits are designed to provide you with the medical treatment you need to recover from your work related injury or illness, partially replace the wages you lose while you are recovering, and help you return to work. Inform your employer immediately and complete the claim form and give it to your employer. Learn more from the California Division of Workers’ Compensation here.
- Exclusion Pay
- If you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 at work, you may be excluded from the workplace (asked to stay home) for 10 days. Your regular wages will be paid if you are required to stay home.
You will not be excluded from work if one of the following is true:
- You are fully vaccinated and do not develop symptoms.
- You had COVID-19 and developed symptoms, but have remained symptom-free for at least 90 days.
- You had COVID-19, never developed symptoms (were asymptomatic), and it has been at least 90 days since your first positive test.
Learn more about the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard exclusion pay and benefits here.
- Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
This benefit expired on September 30, 2021.
Workers taking supplemental paid sick leave as of September 30, 2021 may continue to take the leave they are currently on even if the entitlement extends past September 30, 2021. After September 30, workers who were not paid the SPSL they were entitled to when they were unable to work in 2021 due to COVID-19 can still request pay from their employer or file a claim with the Labor Commissioner.
For more information, click here.