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 were exposed to COVID-19 at work and are able and available to work, your employer must continue to provide your pay and benefits. Learn more about the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard exclusion pay and benefits here.