California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CA SPSL) is back. On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed the bill (SB 144) into law. It will be effective on February 19, but the leave time is retroactive to January 1, 2022.
Here are the highlights:
- Employers with 26 or more employees are covered.
- The law will be retroactive to January 1, 2022, and expire on September 30, 2022.
- The employee is subject to an isolation or quarantine period as defined by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or a local public health officer.
- A health care provider has advised the employee to isolate or quarantine.
- The employee is attending an appointment for the employee or the employee’s family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.
- The employee is experiencing or taking care of a family member who is experiencing, symptoms relating to the COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
For purposes of SPSL, “family member” means parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
Amount of Leave
Full-time employees receive 40 hours of California SPSL. If an employee has a regular schedule but is not employed full time, the employee is entitled to the number of hours that the employee regularly works in one week. Employees who work variable hours are subject to a different formula.
Full-time employees may receive up to 40 hours of additional California SPSL for themselves if they test positive for COVID-19 and cannot telework. If the employer requires the employee to do so, the employee must take a second diagnostic test on or after the fifth day after the employee took the test that showed the employee tested positive. The employer must pay for the test.
Employees also may take additional leave for caring for a family member if the employee provides a positive test result for the employee’s family member.
An employer may limit the amount of SPSL an employee uses to get a vaccine or vaccine booster shot and to recover from symptoms to 24 hours unless a health care provider confirms that the employee or family member continues to experience symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.
Request for Leave
An employer must make SPSL available for immediate use upon an employee’s oral or written request. The employee may decide how many hours of SPSL to use. An employer may not require the employee to use any other paid or unpaid time off (including paid time off (PTO) or vacation time) before allowing the employee to use SPSL.
Rate of Pay
Employers are obligated to pay up to $511 per day or up to $5,100 in the aggregate.
The employer may not apply CA SPSL to exclusion pay required by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Under the ETS, employers must provide employees with exclusion pay if they test positive for COVID-19 because of work or come into close contact with a positive case during the infectious period at work.
An employee’s pay stub must show the amount of SPSL that the employee has used. Under the previous SPSL law, the employer was required to show the amount of SPSL the employee had available.
Notice Guidance and Poster Apply for Leave Requirement Retroactive to Jan. 1
The California Department of Industrial Relations has published answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a poster for employer use in connection with the state’s new COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law.
There are 37 FAQs in all, covering the following topics:
- General Questions
- Reasons for Taking Leave
- Start Date and End Date
- Requesting Leave from An Employer
- Calculating an Employee’s Hours of Leave
- Permissive Limits on Use and Verification
- Payment of Leave, Record-Keeping, and Paystubs
- Relation to Other Laws
Employees must display this poster about the law at the workplace in a place where employees can easily read it. If an employer’s covered employees work remotely and do not come into the office, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by distributing the notice through email.
This update was provided by our HR support services partner, Guardian HR. If you or your client wish to become a client of Guardian HR and get access to all their resources including a dedicated HR Manager and their team of employment attorneys, Please contact your Amwins Connect Sales Representative for more information.