California’s Governor Newsom to Bring Back COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

On January 25, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom and California legislative leaders announced they have reached an agreement to require employers again to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL), which expired on September 30, 2021.

Under the previous SPSL law, California employers with more than 25 employees nationally were required to pay their California employees with up to 80 hours of COVID-19–related paid leave through September 30, 2021.

While the exact details of the new SPSL law have not been finalized, the governor, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon indicated that the new law would again require California employers to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19-related paid leave through September 30, 2022, and it would be retroactive and apply to COVID-19 absences from January 1, 2022. They also referred to providing sick leave to “frontline workers” but did not specify whether the paid sick leave would be limited to frontline workers or, if so, which employees would qualify as “frontline.”

In addition, it has been reported that full time employees will receive the full 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave only if they present a positive COVID-19 test result for the employee or the covered family member. Otherwise, full-time employees may receive only 40 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.

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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