Employers no longer required to give employees paid sick leave for COVID-19

Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many U.S. workers will now have to use vacation days to get paid if they are exposed to COVID-19 and cannot work.

Last year, the federal government required most employers to give their employees up to 10 paid sick days to quarantine.

But that policy expired on Jan. 1.

The government agreed to give employers a tax credit to offset the costs. They are still offering businesses that money, meaning your boss can choose to continue offering sick leave that could be reimbursed through March.

But not everyone is opting in, and some advocates say Congress should extend the requirement.

“Your productivity is going to be lower. The amount of contagiousness that you can give to fellow customers and employees will increase, and because people don’t have that moment to say, ‘You know what? My head’s hurting a little bit, I have a fever. Let me go to the doctor and see if I have coronavirus. If I have the flu.’ People are going to push themselves to the limit,” Davante Lewis, a policy advocate with the Louisiana Budget Project, says.

Parents could also get a portion of their salary from the feds if they could not work because their kids were learning at home.

Congress could extend both policies in a new coronavirus aid package, but that will not happen for some time.

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