Insights
Publications

California Extends COVID-19 Leave Through December 31, 2022

October 31, 2022 Articles

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 152 into law, extending Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) through December 31, 2022. SPSL, which requires California employers with over 26 employees to provide up to 80 hours paid leave for qualifying COVID-19 reasons to covered employees, was previously set to expire on September 30. 

Employees are entitled to use SPSL for a variety of reasons, including when they take time off to get the vaccine, if they are out sick due to COVID-19, or if they are caring for a family member who is sick due to COVID-19. More details can be found here. Note that SPSL must be provided in addition to any existing sick leave or PTO bank. If qualified employees previously used regular sick leave or PTO for COVID-19 related absences in 2022, they are entitled to a credit for those leave hours. 

While AB 152 allows employees more time to access their allotted SPSL hours, it does not entitle employees who have already accessed their leave bank to more or renewed hours. Additionally, the qualifying leave reasons, criteria for coverage, and definitions remain the same.

AB 152 clarifies employers’ ability to deny additional SPSL where an employee fails to provide additional diagnostic testing in certain cases. Covered employees are entitled to 40 hours of COVID-19 leave for qualifying reasons without having to provide documentation of a positive test. Employees are entitled to an additional 40 hours of SPSL if the covered employee, or a family member whom the employee is caring for, tests positive for COVID-19. Employers are not required to provide the additional SPSL if the employee refuses to provide documentation of the positive test result. Additionally, employers are authorized to require the covered employee who tests positive (or is caring for a positive family member) to submit a second test at least five days after first testing positive. Under AB 152, if the employee’s second test is positive, employers are authorized to request an additional diagnostic test within 24 hours of the second test. The employer is required to provide both tests at no cost to the employee. If the employee fails to take the tests authorized by the employer as described, the employer may deny SPSL for the days after the employer provides the test.

Finally, AB 152 establishes a COVID-19 relief grant program for qualifying small business and nonprofits that are incurring costs for COVID-19 SPSL, to be administered by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. This provision will be repealed on January 1, 2024.

Firm Highlights

Publication

California’s Estrada Decision and Impact on Employers and PAGA Claims

Following Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc. , the California Supreme Court’s employee-friendly Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) ruling earlier this year, employers must remain more diligent than ever to prevent and mitigate costly...

Read More
Publication

Navigating California's Evolving Legal Landscape Governing Leaves of Absence

California’s employment laws are no stranger to change, and recent years have witnessed the introduction or modification of various protected leaves by employees. In this article, we will delve into three significant leave categories...

Read More
Publication

Employment Law Update for Nonprofits With Holly Sutton

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . Charities, foundations, and their founders often request help addressing employment practices and compliance questions. In this episode, host Cynthia Rowland is joined by Holly...

Read More
Publication

Navigating California's Workplace Violence Prevention Law

California has introduced a new requirement compelling most employers to implement a workplace violence prevention policy by July 1, 2024. The implications of this law are significant, prompting the need for human resource executives...

Read More
Publication

The Components of Effective and Defensible Workplace Investigations

Harassment, discrimination and retaliation are serious workplace threats that demand vigilant attention from employers under state and federal laws. This article explores some high-level yet essential components of effective workplace investigations. By understanding the...

Read More
Publication

Navigating California Wage Statement Penalties After Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.

On May 6, 2024, the California Supreme Court, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. , clarified that an employer is not liable for statutory penalties for inaccurate wage statements when it had a...

Read More
Publication

Important Changes and the Impact of California Industry-Specific Minimum Wage Laws

In the ever-evolving landscape of California labor laws, the minimum wage has once again taken center stage. With the recent state-wide increase to $16 per hour, the Golden State continues to lead the nation...

Read More
Publication

Navigating Cannabis in the Workplace: A Guide for California Corporations

The landscape surrounding cannabis in the workplace is rapidly evolving, posing challenges for California corporations and businesses to establish effective policies and procedures. As the use of cannabis, both medical and recreational, becomes more...

Read More
Publication

A New Overtime Threshold Takes Effect in Mere Weeks: HR Should Assess Its Impact Now

On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule increasing the minimum pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for various exempt “white-collar” employee categories beginning on...

Read More
Publication

Navigating California's New Rebuttable Presumption Law

The ever-evolving landscape of employment laws in California has introduced a notable change with the implementation of a new law that establishes a rebuttable presumption of retaliation in some circumstances. This law, which took...

Read More