How paid sick leave works in California as coronavirus fears escalate

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- One of the main messages from health leaders in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak is to stay home if you're not feeling well, but that can be expensive without paid sick days.

"In my profession, that's not feasible," said Riverside resident Eric Johnson, who works in the service industry. "I would show up to work sick, unfortunately."

That's because Johnson doesn't believe he has any sick days to fall back on.

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But California is just one of 11 states with mandatory sick leave policies that entitles full- and part-time employees to a minimum of three paid sick days.

The Riverside County Department of Public Health does have the ability to ease some of the financial burden if someone is placed into a 14-day quarantine or isolation due to the coronavirus.

"We say they could not go to work," said Barbara Cole with the Riverside County Public Health. "They would be entitled to apply for short-term disability under paperwork submitted by Public Health. They fill it out and we endorse it."

There are more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and human resource experts say it's important for employers to take steps to protect their workforce.
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