SB 114 – COVID-19 SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE EXTENSION
- By: Sophia Meyer
On February 8, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 114 which once again authorizes supplemental paid sick leave for employees who work for organizations with more than 25 employees.
Retroactive to January 1, 2022, a covered employee is now entitled to supplemental paid sick leave if the covered employee is unable to work or telework due to any of the following reasons:
- The covered employee is quarantined or in isolation due to COVID-19 due to an order or guidance by the State Department of Public Health, the CDC, or a local public health officer;
- The covered employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19;
- The covered employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or vaccine booster for protection against COVD-19;
- The covered employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework;
- For each vaccination or vaccine booster, an employer may limit the total COVD-19 supplemental paid sick leave to three days, or 24 hours, unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that the covered employee or their family member is continuing to experience symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster.
- The covered employee is experiencing symptoms of COVD-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis;
- The covered employee is caring for a child, whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises;
Covered employees are entitled to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, if the employee satisfies either of the following criteria:
- The employer considers the covered employee to work full time.
- The covered employee worked or was scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the two weeks preceding the date the covered employee took COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
For employees who do not work full-time or 40 hours on average, they are entitled to an amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave as follows:
- If the covered employee has a normal weekly schedule, the total number of hours the covered employee is normally scheduled to work for the employer over one week (ie: Employee works 20 hours per week, they would be entitled to 20 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.);
- If the covered employee works a variable number of hours, seven times the average number of the hours the covered employee worked each day for the employer in the six months preceding the date the covered employee took COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. (i.e. Employee works an average of three hours per day over a six-month period of time, they would be entitled to 21 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.);
- If the covered employee works a variable number of hours and has worked for the employer over a period of seven days or less, the total number of hours the covered employee has worked for the employer. (ie: Employee worked five hours, they would be entitled to five hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.)
Employees are also now entitled to additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, not to exceed 40 hours and based on the same entitlements as listed above, if the covered employee, or a family member for whom the covered employee is providing care, tests positive for COVD-19.
Employers can request that the employee submit a diagnostic test on or after the fifth day after the original positive test was taken. The test shall be made available at no cost to the employee. Employers can also request documentary proof of diagnosis for family members whom the covered employee is caring for. The Employer has no obligation to provide the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for an employee who refuses to provide documentation of the results of the diagnostic test upon request of the employer.
The additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave shall not exceed 80 hours total and can be used in conjunction with all other paid leaves available to employees.
There are some nuances for firefighters, and there are requirements to provide employees with written notice that sets forth the amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave that the employee has used through the pay period in which it was due to paid, on either the employee’s itemized wage statement or in a separate writing.
This newest round of supplemental leave is valid through September 30, 2022, and is retroactive to January 1, 2022. It will take effect as of February 18, 2022.
In the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 Pandemic response, please check with your HR professionals and legal advisors for any specific questions you may have. We are always ready to help!