1. Do I need to pay my assistant if they need to miss work because they or their family member is sick or because they need to care for a family member? (Last Reviewed 11/23/21)
Yes, you probably have to pay your assistant for some paid leave. Employers, including family child care providers, need to review the state, federal and local employment laws. These laws guarantee a certain number of days of paid, job-protected leave when a worker is sick, or when a worker’s family member is sick or needs care because of school or child care closures related to the coronavirus. For more information about those programs, see Question #2 “What financial support can my employees get if they miss work because they or their family member is sick or because they need to care for a family member?”
Family child care providers should also refer any assistant who is partially or completely out of work to the Employment Development Department to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI).
Information for employers and employees is also available at California Labor Commissioner FAQs.
Your assistant can call the Center for Workers’ Rights Helpline (916-905-1625 or #211) weekdays between 9 AM and 5:00 PM, a helpline for workers impacted by the coronavirus.
You can also learn more by watching this April 17, 2020 Webinar.
2. What financial support can my employees get if they miss work because they or their family member is sick or because they need to care for a family member? (Last reviewed 5/26/22)
If you stay open but your employees miss work because they are sick or quarantined, or they have to care for a family member, they might qualify for:
- California Paid Sick Leave
- California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
- California Paid Family Leave
- California State Disability Insurance
California Paid Sick Leave:
Employees in California get up to 3 days of paid sick leave per year if they have worked at least 30 days in a year. This covers full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers. Employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours of work and can start using this sick leave once they have worked 90 days.
Some cities, like Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Monica, require employers to provide more than 3 sick days. Check to see if employers in your city must provide more than 3 paid sick days.
California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave:
Beginning February 19, 2022, all employers with 26 or more covered employees are entitled to 80 hours of 2022 COVID-19 related paid sick leave from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, immediately upon an oral or written request to their employer, with up to 40 of those hours available only when an employee or family member tests positive for COVID-19. (Senate Bill 114, Chapter 4, Statutes of 2022.)
A full-time employee can take up to 40 hours off if they are unable to work or telework if:
- The employee has vaccine-related issues such as receiving the vaccine or recovering from vaccine-related symptoms. This extends to a family member as well.
- The employee is caring for themselves if they are in quarantine or isolation because of exposure to COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for a family member who is in quarantine or isolation because of exposure to COVID-19.
A full-time employee may also take an additional 40 hours of leave if the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or their family member tests positive for COVID-19.
A part-time employee can take leave up to the amount of time they work over two weeks. Only half the total amount of time is available if they or a family member tests positive for COVID-19.
More information about the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave can be found in the following resources:
- Department of Industrial Relations 2022 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs
- Department of Industrial Relations 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Fact sheet
California Paid Family Leave:
If your assistant can’t work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member, they can file a Paid Family Leave claim. Paid Family Leave gives up to 6 weeks of payments to eligible workers who have lost some or all of their wages because they need to take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Workers get approximately 60-70% of their wages.
This California Paid Family Leave is in addition to the Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave described below.
Your assistant can also use paid family leave when they can continue working part-time but they need to temporarily reduce their hour. They can log on to the Employment Development Department’s Total and Partial Unemployment Division website to find out if they are “unemployed” under state law and calculate their benefits.
California State Disability Insurance (SDI):
If your assistant is unable to work because they have been exposed to the coronavirus outside of work, they can also file a Disability Insurance claim. SDI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70% of their wages, depending on their income. If your assistant becomes ill or quarantined after being exposed to the coronavirus at work, they should qualify for workers’ compensation for their work-related illness.
For a useful chart showing California state benefits for workers impacted by the coronavirus, please click here. This chart only covers the California state benefits programs, not the emergency federal programs. Information for employees is also available at California Labor Commissioner FAQs . You can call the Center for Workers’ Rights Helpline (916-905-1625 or #211) weekdays between 9 AM and 5:00 PM, a helpline for workers impacted by the coronavirus.
You can also learn more by watching this April 17, 2020 Webinar.
3. Do I need to pay my assistant if I have to close my child care home? (Last Reviewed 11/23/21)
No, you are not required to pay your assistant. If you are forced to temporarily close, any assistants who are now unemployed or partially unemployed should qualify for unemployment benefits,. Refer your assistant to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) website to file an unemployment claim. Here is the place to file an online unemployment claim. The EDD call centers are staffed from at least 8:00 am until 8:00 pm in order to efficiently process claims.
You can refer your assistant to this fact sheet/FAQ on the coronavirus and workers’ rights. Your staff can also phone call the Center for Workers’ Rights Helpline (916-905-1625 or #211) weekdays between 9 AM and 5:00 PM, a helpline for workers impacted by the coronavirus. EDD also has a page on the coronavirus that describes how they can file an unemployment Insurance claim for reduced work hours or closures and they have a helpful FAQ page about coronavirus.
Assistants who do not have work authorization in the U.S. cannot get state or federal unemployment benefits.