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California paid COVID sick leave returns

By Thomas Lee

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On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed legislation extending COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to California workers, which becomes effective February 19, 2022, 10 days after enactment. The legislation extends up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to full-time employees of companies with 26 or more employees. Employees who are eligible will receive up to 40 hours of paid time off if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, are subject to quarantine or isolation orders, or caring for a relative who tests positive for the virus. To qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid leave, employees must provide proof that they or their family member have been tested for COVID-19. Employees can also get paid time off for getting the vaccine or a booster shot, and to recover from any potential side effects, which businesses can limit the total for that to 24 hours.


Employers can no longer require employees to initially use and run out of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave before receiving "exclusion pay" under the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).


Under the 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, employers are required to specify the amount of supplemental paid sick leave the employee has used through the applicable pay period rather than listing the available remaining hours. Even if the employee is not using additional paid sick leave, the employer must notify the employee in writing that zero hours have been used.


Employers are also required to post notice about the 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave in the workplace. If employees are not physically present at the workplace, the poster can be distributed electronically, such as by email. The Labor Commissioner is tasked with publishing the model notice by February 17, 2022.


The COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave will be retroactive to January 1, 2022, and extended through September 30, 2022.


Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.

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