California Legislature Approves Extended Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

As anticipated, the California State Legislature passed legislation on Monday, February 7, 2022 to provide employees otherwise entitled to paid sick leave under state law with the right to supplemental paid leave retroactive to January 1, 2022, for time spent caring for themselves or a family member impacted by COVID-19. These new benefits would expire on September 30, 2022.

Senate Bill 114 provides for the supplemental benefit and passed both houses of the legislature yesterday. Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law this week.

In summary, the new law will apply to employers with 26 or more employees and entitle their:

  1. Full-time employees who are unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19, including caring for an impacted family member, to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave under specified circumstances
  2. Similarly situated employees who do not qualify as full-time employees to up to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave under specified circumstances
  3. Full-time employees to up to 40 additional hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave if the employee or a family member for whom the employee is providing care tests positive for COVID-19, provided the employee or family member satisfies testing and related documentation requirements
  4. Similarly situated employees who do not qualify as full-time workers to up to an additional 40 hours of paid sick leave if the employee or a family member for whom the employee is providing care tests positive for COVID-19, provided the employee or family member satisfies testing and related documentation requirements

The new law will also give employees a limited period of three days, or 24 work hours, to get vaccinated or to recover from any side effects of a vaccination.

The legislature also approved approximately $5.5 billion in tax cuts to take effect this year to help businesses offset the costs they will incur from the extended sick leave program.

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