On February 9, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law, Senate Bill 114, the 2022 California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (the “2022 CSPSL”). The 2022 CSPSL went into effect on February 19, 2022 and requires employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to California employees for a variety of COVID-19 related reasons. The new law applies retroactively from January 1, 2022 and will expire on September 30, 2022.
The 2022 CSPSL replaces the expired COVID-19 related paid sick leave laws that California employers were required to abide by under the expired federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave laws from 2020 and 2021. The 2022 CSPSL is significantly different from its predecessors such that employers will not be able to simply reinstate their past policies on COVID-19 paid sick leave. Additionally, the 2022 CSPSL does not pre-empt local ordinances such as those applicable to Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, so employers should remain mindful of compliance obligations under such local ordinances. Under the 2022 CSPSL, covered employees may take up to 80 hours of supplemental paid time off, regardless of whether they took leave under the previous laws, upon an oral or written request to their employer.
Employers in the public and private sector with 26 or more employees, including those with collective bargaining agreements.
Employees who are unable to work or telework for an employer due to a covered reason. Part-time and full-time employees are covered, but independent contractors are not.
Covered employers must offer up to 80 hours of supplemental paid time off. The paid time off is divided into the following two, independent 40-hour banks:
First Bank: Up to 40 Hours for COVID-19 Related Reasons
These covered reasons track the previous versions of the California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave laws, including:
Second Bank: Up to 40 Hours if an Employee or a Family Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
If a covered employee tests positive or is caring for a family member who tests positive for COVID-19, the covered employee qualifies for an additional 40 hours of paid sick leave. Employees are not required to exhaust the first 40-hour bank of paid sick leave and may be entitled to paid leave under this separate bank when they do not otherwise qualify for leave under the first bank. Covered employers may require proof of a positive COVID-19 test from employees requesting supplemental paid sick leave from this 40-hour bank. If an employee refuses to provide the test results, employers may deny supplemental paid sick leave from this second 40-hour bank. The Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) issued by the Labor Commissioner’s Office suggest that this documentation could include “a medical record of the test result, an e-mail or text from the testing company with the results, a picture of the test result, or a contemporaneous text or e-mail from the employee to the employer stating that the employee or a qualifying family member tested positive for COVID-19.”
If you have any questions about this article or how it impacts your workplace, please contact Naureen Amjad, Riebana E. Sachs or any member of the Employment, Labor and Benefits Group.
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