AB 152 Changes to COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
- By: Margaret E. Long
On September 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 152, which amends Labor Code section 248.6. Of importance, the AB 152 affects how COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) is administered.
First, AB 152 extends the deadline by three months for employees who have not exhausted their SPSL allotments, and provides that employees now must use such leave by December 31, 2022. This does not provide employees with any additional SPSL to use, but merely extends the period during which employees who have not exhausted their SPSL allotments may use such leave.
In addition, AB 152 provides employers additional discretionary authority concerning when they may require employees to submit to COVID-19 testing in order to end their isolation periods and return to work.
Labor Code section 248.6 currently authorizes employers to require that an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, submit to a follow-up COVID-19 test on or after the fifth (5th) day following the initial positive test. Under the Labor Code, employers are also authorized to require that employees provide documentation of the result from such follow-up test, and to deny the employee the use of SPSL if they refuse to provide such documentation.
AB 152 provides employers with authority to require that an employee submit to a second follow-up test in the event that the first follow-up test produces a positive test result. The amended language authorizes employers to require that an employee who tests positive on or after the fifth (5th) day submit to a second follow-up test within 24 hours of the first test.
In addition, AB 152 provides that the employer may lawfully deny the employee SPSL, if the employee refuses to submit to either of the follow-up tests or provide documentation of the results from such tests.
It is important to take a look at your current policies and make sure that they are compliant with the law. Please reach out for assistance if needed.