California passed another round of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. The new sick leave requirements, which are very similar to the benefits that expired in September 2021, go into effect on February 19th and apply retroactively to January 1, 2022. The benefits will continue to be available to employees up to September 30, 2022.
The leave requirements apply to all employers with at least 26 employees, and provides up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave time for COVID-19 related reasons. The amount of leave employees are entitled to and what documentation may be requested can be confusing and is dependent on a myriad of factors.
Full time employees are entitled to use 40 hours of supplemental paid sick leave, essentially no questions asked and without needing to test positive for COVID-19, for the following reasons:The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19, as defined by an order or guidance of the State Dept. of Public Health, the CDC or a local public health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace. Note, if there are multiple orders (i.e. Federal, State, and City), companies must follow the one that has the longest quarantine or isolation period.
The employee has been specifically advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
The employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive the vaccination (counts towards the limitations under 4 below).
The employee is experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member with symptoms from the vaccination (leave may be limited to 24 hours, unless employee has verification from a healthcare provider that there are still symptoms related to the vaccine).
- The employee has COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for a family member subject to 1 and 2 above.
- The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care closed, or is otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
Full-time employees are entitled to an additional 40 hours if the employee, or a family member, actually tests positive. Companies are permitted to request documentation of the positive test result and another test on or after the 5th day after the first test was taken. Employees must provide the requested documentation prior to the company being required to pay the additional leave.
The attorneys at RPNA continue to monitor the updated guidance expected to be issued from the Department of Industrial Relations. If you have any questions about supplemental sick leave requirements please contact Nicholas Roxborough at (818) 992-9999, ext. 222, Drew Pomerance at ext. 212, Michael Adreani, at ext. 234, or Trevor Witt, at ext. 224.