California implements new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act of 2022 – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
United States: California implements new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act of 2022
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On February 9, 2022, the Governor of California signed into law Senate Bill 114 requiring employers with 26 or more employees (and certain public entities) to provide up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave for certain work-related reasons. COVID-19. This new law, known as the California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act (“CSPSL”) 2022 COVID-19, Labor Code 248.6, is effective immediately, is retroactive to January 1, 2022, and will be in effect until as of September 30, 2022.
Covered employers must provide the CSPSL to employees retroactively to January 1, 2022, but must comply with its other requirements and provide notice to its employees beginning February 19, 2022. In other words, for any qualifying leave under the CSPSL, upon or written request of the employee: (i) if the employee has not been paid previously, the employer will provide the employee with a retroactive payment equal to or greater than the amount of the indemnity for the CSPSL no later than the next full pay period after the employee’s written request; and (ii) if the employee was paid while on leave, at the employee’s verbal or written request, the employee will be credited for all hours of leave used for COVID-specific leave purposes.
The CSPSL allows employees to use paid leave if they are unable to work or telework for the following reasons related to their own health or that of a family member requiring their care:
- Requirement of quarantine or isolation by a healthcare provider or other federal, state, local or other directive;
- Appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster;
- Presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and requesting a medical diagnosis;
- Caring for a child whose school is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19; Where
- Test positive for COVID-19.
The CSPSL divides sick leave hours into two mandatory banks:
- Up to 40 hours for the reasons stated above; and
- Up to 40 additional hours for an employee unable to work or telecommute because the employee has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to care for a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19 19.
Employees can determine how much additional sick leave they need without employer intervention. Additionally, employees can choose which leave benefit they use to cover a COVID-19-related absence and can take the leave by requesting it orally or in writing. Documentation is only required to take leave under the CSPSL when an employee or family member tests positive for COVID-19. In addition, this new sick leave benefit is in addition to any benefits provided under California’s Healthy Workplace and Family Health Act (“HWHFA”).
This new law is similar to Senate Bill 95, which was in effect from March 2021 to September 2021. There are differences and several nuances with the CSPSL depending on whether employees are full-time or part-time and there are some requirements related to the rate of pay to be used when the leave is used. In addition, employers must document available hours on pay stubs or other written notices, and comply with applicable posting and notification requirements.
Employers should be aware that local paid sick leave ordinances may be in effect depending on the employer’s location and should therefore check the city’s website. Employers should check with the California Office of the Labor Commissioner regularly for updates and regular requirements: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/COVID19resources/
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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