On February 9, 2022, California Governor Newsom signed SB 114 into law, reinstituting COVID-19 sick leave for 2022 (“2022 COVID-19 Sick Leave”). 2022 COVID-19 Sick Leave applies to employers with more than 25 employees and becomes effective February 19, 2022. Notably, the 2022 COVID-19 Sick Leave is retroactive to January 1, 2022. It will expire on September 30, 2022. The key provisions are summarized below.
- Amount of leave:
- Full-time, covered employees will be entitled to 40 hours of paid leave if they are unable to work or telework for specified reasons related to COVID-19, including that the employee is in quarantine or isolation, attending a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for themselves or a family member, experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms resulting from a COVID-19 vaccine, or is caring for a child with a school closure or place of care closure related to COVID-19.
- Full-time, covered employees will be entitled to an additional 40 hours of paid leave upon showing proof that they (or their family member) have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Employers will have to pay for the test(s), but it is unclear whether this covers tests for employees only or includes testing for their family members.
- Documentation Required: Employers may require employees who have tested positive to submit to a second test on or after the fifth day following the first positive test and provide documentation of those results for continuation of coverage. Employers may also require documentation of a family member’s test result before paying additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
- Effective Dates: The enacted leave is retroactive to any time off beginning January 1, 2022 and will expire on September 30, 2022.
- Maximum Benefits: Employees will receive a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total.
- No tax credit: Unlike earlier COVID-19 sick leave laws, the 2022 COVID-19 Sick Leave does not include tax credits to employers to offset the costs.
Employers seeking further information and details should contact competent counsel for advice.