Paid Sick Leave Law Update

Rick Alaniz, Alaniz Law and Associates, 20333 State Hwy 249, Ste. 272, Houston, TX  77070
(281) 833-2200

The House bill was passed by the Senate, at least as it relates to FMLA and sick leave, were left virtually unchanged. Therefore, for purposes of the AAMP members, the following are the most significant points:

  1. The law goes into effect as of April 2, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020.
  2. Affects employers with 500 employees or less (every AAMP member)
  3. Provides for possible exemption for companies with 50 or less employees if they can show that compliance “would jeopardize the business.” (No description provided).
  4. Exempts employers with fewer than 50 employees from employee-initiated lawsuits for civil FMLA damages, which means these employers are likely not liable for backpay or liquidated FMLA damages.

Sick Leave:

  • 2 weeks (80 hours) of sick leave for full time employees (part-time employees are entitled to hours normally worked in a2 week period)
  • Sick leave can be taken when unable to work because (a) they are subject to quarantine; (b) have COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting for diagnosis; (c) they must care for someone quarantined; (d) employees must care for their own child due to school closures.
  • Sick pay is limited to $511 per day or a total of $5,110 for employee’s own illnesses or quarantine and $200 per day or total of $2,000 for any other qualifying reasons.

Expanded FMLA Leave:

  • 1st 10 days are unpaid, but may use the 80 hours of sick pay.
  • After 1st ten days, all available weeks are paid at 2/3rds of their regular of pay
  • Pay is limited to $200 per day or a total of $10,000
  • Employees must have worked at least 30 days to be eligible
  • Can only be used due to need to care for their child whose school has been closed.