COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Returning to California Workplaces

by Shauna N. Correia
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

In the midst of the winter COVID-19 surge, Governor Newsom and California legislative leaders have agreed to fast-track a plan to provide emergency COVID-19 relief.  As part of that package, another allotment of Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 will once again be available to California workers.

The details have not been released but here is what we expect:

  • The new leave program will be made retroactive to January 1 and will extend through September 30, 2022.
  • It applies to employers with 26 or more employees.
  • Full-time workers will be entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave when they are sick or caring for a family member with COVID-19 – this amount of time mirrors current health guidelines to quarantine after testing positive.
  • The 40-hour allotment would be prorated for part-time employees.
  • Up to 40 more hours would be available to an employee if needed, but to be eligible for this, an employee will be required to provide proof of a positive test.
  • An additional 24 hours of leave will be available for time off to get vaccinated or to recover from vaccine side effects.
  • Although federal tax credits that offset the cost of providing COVID-19 sick leave have expired, the state plans to offer some relief to businesses including restored tax credits, and the state plans to inject additional funding for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

Once the plan has been signed into law, we will update this blog.