Sick Leave Policy in the Wake of COVID-19

Last Updated on March 26, 2020 by G. T. HR

Get Familiar with Your Company Sick Leave Policy

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, employers have much to consider. Among these concerns is the awareness and implementation of their sick leave policies.

Sick Leave policies vary from one business to another, with only some states requiring them. Because of the nature of this widespread health scare, it is important for employers to identify whether their state or local paid-sick-leave laws cover situations where employees are directed to stay home due to their own illness, concerns they may become ill, a relative’s illness, or school or business closings. These policies should be clearly identified within employee handbooks and shared with employees.

Senate and House introduce a bill to require paid sick leave in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 6, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-03) introduced legislation requiring all US employers to provide 7 days paid sick leave to all workers with an additional 14 days provided immediately in the case of a public health emergency such as the coronavirus outbreak. The push for the new bill comes from some concern that the lack of paid sick days could make coronavirus harder to contain in the United States compared with other countries that have universal sick leave policies in place.

The proposed bill would:

  • Require all employers to allow workers to gradually earn seven days of paid sick leave
  • Require all employers to provide an additional 14 days of paid sick leave, available immediately at the beginning of a public health emergency (such as the current coronavirus crisis)
  • Ensure paid sick leave covers days when your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when your employer is closed due to public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency

So which states have paid sick leave policies in place?

How do we know which states require paid sick leave? According to an article released by the National Conference of State Legislatures on March 5th, twelve states and Washington D.C. require paid sick leave.

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  •  Washington
  • Washington D.C.

For more information regarding how your company should handle sick leave in response to COVD-19 should the issue arise, speak with your HR department.

For more information regarding handbook policies, or other HR needs, contact MyHRConcierge at (855) 538-6947 x.108 or email