California Revives COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

February 8, 2022

UPDATE: Governor Gavin Newson signed SB 114 on February 9. Therefore, covered California employers must provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave beginning February 19, 2022.

A California bill restoring supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 has passed the state legislature and awaits signature from Governor Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign it.

SB 114, which would apply to employers with more than 25 employees, would require supplemental paid sick leave - up to a total maximum of 80 hours for full-time employees - to be made available to employees who are unable to work or telework because of various COVID-19-related reasons, including:

  • Following quarantine or isolation advice of health care providers or federal, state or local public health authorities or caring for a family member who is doing so;
  • Attending vaccination appointments for themselves or a family member, including booster shots;
  • Experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 vaccinations;
  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Caring for a child whose school or childcare location is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19.

Full-time employees would be entitled to take up to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for the reasons listed above, while part-time employees' amount of available leave would depend on their typical weekly schedule. Additional leave would be available to employees who test positive for COVID-19 themselves or have a family member for whom they are providing care test positive for COVID-19.

For leave connected to COVID-19 vaccination, employers may impose a limit of three days or 24 hours, unless the employee provides verification of the need for additional leave from a healthcare provider.

The COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave would be on top of any paid sick leave or other paid time off the employer provides. Employers would be prohibited from requiring employees to use or exhaust any other employer-provided leave or paid time off before using COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. However, the law would cap the required compensation for covered employees at $511 per day and $5,110 total for a single employee.

Employers would also be required to include information detailing the amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave an employee has used on or with the employee's pay statement each pay period and to post a written notice regarding the availability of COVID-19 supplemental sick leave. The Labor Commissioner is directed to make a model notice available within seven days of the law's enactment.

The supplemental paid sick leave requirement would take effect 10 days after its enactment and apply retroactively to January 1, 2022. The law would remain in effect through September 30, 2022.