Paid Sick Leave - Employment Law

Can You Use Paid Sick Leave If You Have Covid-19?


My name is Michael Burgis. I’m a trial attorney and I’m a certified legal specialist in California Workers’ Compensation. I’m also very well versed in Employment Law.

Should I Use Paid Sick Leave If I Can’t Work Due To Coronavirus?

Ultimately, one of the questions I’m getting a lot is regarding Paid Sick Leave, especially during this Coronavirus pandemic and this scare. You know, a lot of employees are wondering “What happens if I have to stop work or take off work because I’m sick?” First off, if you become sick and you call in sick, and especially if you have flu-like symptoms, you know you should quarantine yourself. Ultimately, you would be entitled to sick pay. So if your employer has a certain amount of sick pay that is there to be used, this is the time to use it. Sick pay will likely be exhausted very quickly, and I wouldn’t rely on the sick pay. In fact, EDD has now laxed their 1 week policy. So normally, the Employment Development Department, which pays State Disability Insurance and Unemployment, usually there was a delay, like if you were sick and you couldn’t work, you’d have to be out for a week before you got benefits. EDD has just eliminated that, so frankly, before I would even start taking sick pay from my employer I would reach out to the Employment Development Department and see if you can get those benefits very quickly. Now, sick pay generally covers the full day, EDD generally covers 2/3 (about 66%) of that salary but you may be able to get a combination of those both so that it puts you in the same position.

So once again, if you’re sick, including contracting Coronavirus, or any flu-like symptoms, and you have to be out of work for a period of time, you absolutely should take your paid sick time off. And if that is exhausted, you should also look to State Disability Insurance or Employment Development Department for additional benefits to offset that. Hope this has been helpful if you have any questions or concerns feel free to give me a call 888-Burgis1 (888-287-4471) or look us up at Burgislaw.com.

Thank you.