California Extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
Governor Signs AB 152, Changes To Take Effect Immediately
Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 152 (AB 152), which – effective immediately – extends California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) through Dec. 31, 2022. Significantly, the law does not provide a new allotment of leave, but extends the time employees have to use any remaining leave (of the available 80 hours) not already used this year. AB 152, which was signed on Sept. 29, also amends the current leave provisions and creates a program to reimburse costs for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits providing COVID-19 SPSL through the enactment of the SPSL Relief Grant Program.
Leave and Testing Procedures
SPSL provides two banks of leave, each 40 hours, for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. The second bank is only available if an employee provides documentation that they or a family member has tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, an employer is permitted to require an employee to take a second test on or after the fifth day of the initial test and provide documentation of the result. As amended, the law now allows employers to require a third test no less than 24 hours later if the second test was positive. These tests must be provided at no cost to the employee. Employers are permitted to deny additional SPSL to an employee who refuses to submit to the tests or provide the documentation. Employees who have already used their leave allotment for 2022 may be required to use other forms of leave. Employers must also consider whether the employee would be entitled to exclusion pay due to their own exposure or COVID-19 illness under the Cal-OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards, which remain in effect.
SPSL Relief Grant Program
The California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will provide qualified small business and nonprofits with grants for actual costs incurred for SPSL provided between Jan. 1, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2022. The maximum grant per applicant is $50,000.
Small businesses and nonprofits must meet the following criteria to qualify for the grant:
- Incorporated as a “C” corporation, “S” corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnership or limited partnership, or registered as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19);
- Began operation before June 1, 2021;
- Are currently in operation; and
- Have between 26 and 49 employees.
Employers will be required to provide organizing documents (e.g. Articles of Incorporation, 501(c)(3) registration, etc.) and proof of employee payroll records verifying that SPSL was provided.
Disclaimer: BBK Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.