Ask An HR Expert: What is emergency paid sick leave?

Hello! Thank you for joining me for another episode of Ask an HR Expert. My name is Katie Stewart, and I am with Tandem HR.

Today’s questions is: What is emergency paid sick leave?



Employers with less than 500 employees must provide paid sick time to eligible employees unable to work or work remote for any one of these six reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation
  2. The employee has been diagnosed or told to self-quarantine by their health care provider
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who has COVID-19 or is told by a healthcare provider to be in quarantine or isolation
  5. They are caring for a minor child due to school or daycare closing because of COVID-19
  6. The employee is experiencing other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services


This leave provides 80 hours’ worth of paid time off and should be paid out at the regular rate of pay. Additionally, employers are mandated to display a poster from the Department of Labor to notify employees of their rights.

An employer cannot discriminate or retaliate against any employee who takes advantage of the leave.

This is to be extended to employees above and beyond any other paid time off policies that the employer is currently providing.


Thank you for joining me for Ask an HR Expert.


If you have any other questions, please reach out to Tandem HR at 630.928.0510.