On January 6, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued an advisory recommending that employees who engaged in non-essential (recreational) travel outside of the State to self-quarantine for 10 days upon their return. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Motor Vehicles adopted policies based on the CDPH advisory. Employees were directed to inform their supervisor of the location of their non-essential travel and to self-quarantine for 10 days upon their return from non-essential travel out-of-State or more than 120 miles from their residence. Employees who were subject to self-quarantine were advised that they would have to use their own paid leave to cover their absence from duty.
On March 19, 2021, SB 95 was enacted which provides for up to 80 hours COVID-19 supplemental leave. It is retroactive to January 1, 2021 and in effect until September 30, 2021. A question was raised whether the supplemental leave applied to the Parks and DMV nonessential travel policies. Today, CalHR confirmed that because the policies were based on a CDPH advisory, employees directed to self-quarantine by their supervisors could use the supplemental leave to cover their absence.
As such, any employee who has been directed to self-quarantine upon their return from non-essential travel since January 1, 2021, and was required to use their personal leave, should contact their payroll department to get the leave that was utilized (up to 80 hours) credited back to their leave bank. Employees who engage in non-essential travel going forward (until September 30, 2021) should reflect any mandated self-quarantine as COVID-19 supplemental leave.
Any disputes concerning the entitlement to supplemental leave should be brought to CSLEA's attention so that they may be appropriately resolved.