States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons. These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

In general, employee leave permitted under new state COVID-19 rules and guidance varies with respect to factors like which employers and employees are covered by the leave, the length and purpose of the leave, whether the leave is compensated and at what rate, and whether the leave is provided under a new law or rule, or covered under an existing provision.

This Compliance Bulletin describes new state employee leave provisions and guidance enacted or issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with links to government resources providing further information. Information about similar measures in select major cities is also included. The document will be updated with additional new employee leave rules in this rapidly changing compliance area.


Employers should monitor the websites of their state departments of labor for new laws, rules and guidance about COVID-19-related employee leave.


States are increasingly enacting laws and issuing new rules and guidance on employee leave taken as a result of COVID-19. State actions on employee leave come in addition to the paid employee leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Act passed by Congress. Key features of new laws and regulations include the length of leave, compensation for leave, and eligibility requirements for leave.


Employers should stay alert to the following actions on the state level:

  • New employee leave laws and regulations
  • Changes to existing laws and rules on employee leave
  • Guidance on the application of existing rules and laws to COVID-19 circumstances
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