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If You Own a Business in California and Your Employee Has COVID-19, Do You Have to Continue to Pay?

Updated: Apr 21



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Running a business is difficult. Running a business in the middle of a pandemic is even more complex. In addition to the everyday challenges that you have always faced as an employer, you now have the added challenge of keeping your business going while keeping your employees and those you serve safe.

When an employee gets COVID, or is exposed to someone who has COVID, and has to miss work that can be particularly disruptive to business operations. Do you have to pay an employee while they are out? What leave benefits do you have to provide to your employees?

In 2020 employers were introduced to a number of new acts and regulations to address COVID-19 and employee leave. These included the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Those two Acts temporarily created a federal response to leave during the pandemic. Both Acts expired in December of 2020.

While California employers no longer have to navigate those laws, you need to be aware of the state statutes and local ordinances regarding leave, both paid and unpaid, that apply to your business.