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COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Continues to Provide Relief in 2022

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently renewed the Supplemental Sick Leave benefits for most California workers.

The 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave provides covered workers up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related paid leave, with up to 40 of those hours for isolation and quarantine, receiving vaccines and caring for a child whose school or day care is closed, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations. It also provides for up to an additional 40 of those hours available only when an employee or family member for whom the employee provides care, tests positive for COVID-19.

This new 2022 law applies to all employers--public or private--with 26 or more employees. The workers are entitled to paid sick leave in addition to leave that was provided under previous laws that expired on September 30, 2021.

Covid-19 and supplemental sick leave
"This latest extension is great for California workers, many of whom face COVID-19 exposure on a daily basis," says Amy Leung, a partner at Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP (GEK). "Although much progress has been made in terms of curbing the pandemic, and there is a great deal of light at the end of the tunnel, we need to continue to proceed with caution. This is particularly true for those who aren't able to work from home and therefore must face possible exposure on a regular basis."

Paid Leave Details

A covered employee can take leave if she or he can't work or telework for any of the following reasons:

  • Caring for her or himself--as defined by guidelines from the California Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a local health officer with adequate jurisdiction.
  • Caring for a family member--one who is quarantined due to COVID-19 or is a child whose school or childcare facility is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19.
  • Vaccine-related--as defined by either attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work because of vaccine-related symptoms.

A second tier of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave--up to 40 hours--is available only if an employee or a family member for whom the worker is providing care tested positive for COVID-19.

Timeline Details

The 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave started on February 19, but is retroactive to January 1, 2022. Therefore, covered employees who took qualifying leave between January 1 and February 19 of 2022 can request payment for that leave if it wasn't paid by the employer in the amount required by law.

The requirement to provide 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave expires on September 30, 2022. If an employee is receiving this benefit at the expiration date, he or she is allowed to take the full amount.

"As Workers' Compensation attorneys, we see first-hand how devastating a workplace injury or illness can be, and COVID-19 has been no exception," says Leung. "We are dedicated to making sure those we represent receive the full range of benefits to which they are entitled." 

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