Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law is Extended to December 31, 2022 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief

By Rebecca Gombos, Esq.

On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 152 (“AB 152”) into law, which extends California’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) from September 30, 2022, to December 31, 2022, implements new testing requirements, and provides relief for small businesses and nonprofits. While SPSL will now be available through the end of the year, AB 152 does not provide an additional bank of time to those employees who may have already exhausted their allotted SPSL for the year.

As a recap, for employers with more than 25 employees, full-time employees are entitled up to 80 total hours of supplemental sick pay, which is categorized into two 40-hour buckets of sick leave as follows:

Eligible employees may be entitled to up to 40 hours if an employee cannot work because:

  • Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • Employee is attending a vaccination appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or the booster;
  • Employee is subject to quarantine related to COVID-19 or caring for a family member who is;
  • Employee is advised by a health care provider to isolate due to COVID-19 or caring for a family member who is;
  • Employee or employee’s family member is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

An additional 40 hours of leave is also available to employees who test positive for COVID-19 or need to care for a family member who tests positive.

Updated Testing Requirements

If the employee tested positive, an employer may require the employee to submit to a diagnostic test on or after the fifth (5th) day after the test was taken and provide documentation of those results. If the diagnostic test is positive, the employer may also require the employee to submit to a second diagnostic test within no less than 24 hours of the positive test.  The employer shall make such tests available at no cost to the employee.

The employer has no obligation to provide the additional 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to an employee who refuses to provide documentation of the results of the test (of the employee or family member) upon the request of the employer, or if the employee refuses to submit to the subsequent diagnostic tests.

Small Business and Nonprofit Relief

AB 152 also establishes the California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). The program provides grants of up to $50,000, but “no more than the actual costs incurred for” SPSL between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022,” to qualified small businesses and nonprofit organizations. These provisions of AB 152 will expire on January 1, 2024.

The grants are available to businesses that have provided COVID-19 SPSL under Labor Code Sections 248.6 and 248.7 and that are:

The bill would also impose ownership restrictions and other exceptions to qualify for the grant relief program.

We will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to California’s COVID-19 mandates. Please contact our firm for further information, questions, or assistance.

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