California Reinstates Supplemental Covid-19 Sick Pay

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With a record number of Californians missing work due to the Omicron variant, Governor Newsom has reached a deal with state lawmakers to require employers with more than 25 employees to provide special supplemental Covid-19 sick leave–again.

The prior law requiring supplemental paid sick leave expired September 30, 2021.

The new proposal would require employers to provide up to 40 hours of flexible paid leave to full-time workers who are sick or caring for an ill loved one, and require proof of a positive test to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid time off. Part-time workers would be eligible for sick leave equal to the number of hours they typically work in a week or twice that amount with a positive test.

We don’t know whether previously granted COVID-19 sick pay can offset the new requirements. Cal/OSHA requirements to provide exclusion pay have remained in effect for workplace exposures and cases. The Cal/OSHA FAQs allow employers to require employees to use supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave prior to providing exclusion pay.

Local supplemental COVID-19 paid sick ordinances continue to remain in effect in LA County, LA City Long Beach and Oakland.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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