The new supplemental paid sick leave law for COVID-19 became effective February 19, 2022 and applies to employers with more than 25 employees. The new law has significant differences from the prior law.
You may be familiar with the basic law, but have you checked to be sure that the supplemental leave is on your pay stubs? Have you displayed the required poster? The Department of Industrial Relations has issued a helpful Frequently Asked Questions, providing useful information and detail for situations that commonly arise.
Under the new law, employees are provided with two “buckets” of sick leave. Employees may have up to 40 hours, depending on the number of hours they regularly work, when the employee is unable to work and is:
- Subject to isolation or quarantine;
- Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- Caring for a family member who is subject to isolation or quarantine;
- Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 on the premises;
- Attending an appointment for vaccinations for themselves or a family member; or
- Caring for themselves or a family member experiencing symptoms after vaccination.
Employees may have up to an additional 40 hours if they or the family member they are caring for tests positive for COVID-19. Employers may request documentation of the test results and need not pay the additional sick leave unless the documentation is provided.
Note that the first “bucket” of hours need not be used up before the employee can use some of the second “bucket” of hours.
The law is retroactive to January 1, 2022. As such, if employees were unable to work for a covered reason from January 1 through February 19, they may request retroactive payment. Please note, this includes former employees too. The law expires on September 30, 2022.
Related practice team: Labor and Employment