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How to Pay Staff During COVID-19 Related Absence

State and federal COVID-related leave requirements expired 9/30/2021

May 06, 2021 10570

This resource covers how dentist employers must pay staff during a COVID-related illness, exposure or quarantine, time off to receive the vaccine or recover from complications of the COVID-19 vaccine, or to seek a diagnosis. Please note that in the event a local health department has mandated a practice closure, Cal/OSHA requires employers to maintain full employee pay, benefits and seniority during their absence and must not require an employee to use their state or local mandated sick leave.

Is the COVID exposure or illness is work related?

Is the COVID exposure or illness is work related?

  1. If no, employer and employee may use these in listed order:

    1. FFCRA* or similar law
    2. CA Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave**
    3. Available unused state or local mandated sick leave for eligible employees (at employee request)
    4. Employer-provided leave benefit (i.e. vacation or PTO)
  2. If yes:
    • If this was a close contact exposure, employer must use these in listed order: 
      1. FFCRA* or similar law
      2. CA Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave**
      3. Employer may exhaust remaining leave benefits (i.e. vacation or PTO)
      4. Employer offsets difference of above benefits to maintain full employee pay
    • If this is an illness, employer must use these in listed order: 
      1. Workers’ compensation wage replacement or State Disability Insurance (SDI) payments
      2. FFCRA* or similar law
      3. CA Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave**
      4. Employer may exhaust remaining leave benefits (i.e. vacation or PTO)
      5. Employer offsets difference of above benefits to maintain full employee pay

Note: Effective until 9/30/21, in addition to close contact exposure or COVID-related illness, supplemental paid sick leave has been expanded to cover employees taking time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, recover from complications of vaccine or time while awaiting results of a COVID-19 test or diagnosis.

*On 4/1/2021, under the American Rescue Plan Act, employer may choose to voluntarily pay employee similar to Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which expires 9/30/2021

**Under the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (SB 95), employers of 25 or more employees are required to pay employees who cannot work or telework for covered reasons listed under the law.