The Santa Rosa City Council has voted to temporarily reinstate and amend its emergency supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) ordinance related to COVID-19. Read our article on the City’s original ordinance (which expired on December 31, 2020) here. The new amended ordinance took effect on February 2, 2021, and is set to expire on March 31, 2021, or upon expiration of the federal tax credits for providing paid leave, whichever is later. The Council didn’t make the amendments retroactive but instead chose to reinstate it with the new effective date and end date, as noted above.
The new ordinance mirrors the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) except that it applies to all businesses within the Santa Rosa city limits, regardless of size or sector. The amendments don’t replenish or reset employees’ leave banks. If an employee has exhausted their supplemental paid sick leave under the previous City ordinance or under the FFCRA, they aren’t eligible for additional supplemental paid sick leave now. While the reasons for leave remain unchanged from the original ordinance, an amendment was made clarifying that employees can use SPSL for any of the listed reasons, when they are “unable to work.” Additionally, you must now give written notice to employees of their rights under the law. For new hires, this notice must be provided within the first week of employment. The City has made a flyer you can print and post in an employee breakroom or common area and distribute to employees in order to meet the notice requirement.
Tips: The new ordinance includes additional amendments not detailed in this article, such as denial of leave if an employee intentionally violates a health order and adoption of the FFCRA’s two-tier pay rate approach. If your employees perform work within the city of Santa Rosa, review the ordinance carefully to ensure compliance with all requirements. Questions on this local ordinance or California statewide paid sick leave protections? Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney.